Time for a buy­out

Bloomberg should take his bil­lions and go home

Boston Herald - - News - Adri­ana COHEN Adri­ana Cohen is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist and TV com­men­ta­tor. See adri­ana­co­hen.com

Just when you thought the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial field couldn’t get any­more pa­thetic, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg en­ters the race rep­re­sent­ing every­thing the Demo­cratic Party sup­pos­edly stands against.

Bil­lion­aire cap­i­tal­ist? Check. Frisk­ing

A white eli­tist us­ing his hefty bank ac­count to buy his way into a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion? Check.

Some­one who en­gaged in racial pro­fil­ing while NYC mayor? Check.

But that’s not all. A newly leaked au­dio tape sur­faced this week of Bloomberg speak­ing at a 2015 event in Aspen where he ad­mit­ted to tar­get­ing young black men and peo­ple of color while mayor.

Trig­ger warn­ing — what you’re about to read is ex­tremely dis­turb­ing and should dis­qual­ify Bloomberg from run­ning for pres­i­dent.

“Ninety-five per­cent of mur­ders, mur­der­ers and mur­der vic­tims fit one M.O. You can just take a de­scrip­tion, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg told the Aspen In­sti­tute. “They are male, mi­nori­ties, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in vir­tu­ally ev­ery city (in­audi­ble).”

He con­tin­ued, “One of the un­in­tended con­se­quences is peo­ple say, ‘Oh my God, you are ar­rest­ing kids for mar­i­juana that are all mi­nori­ties.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Be­cause we put all the cops in mi­nor­ity neigh­bor­hoods. Why do we do it? Be­cause that’s where all the crime is.”

It’s no won­der U.S. pris­ons are dis­pro­por­tion­ately over­pop­u­lated with mi­nori­ties — it’s due in part to trou­bling poli­cies de­ployed by politi­cians like Michael Bloomberg and oth­ers. This in­cludes Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders, who voted for the pas­sage of the 1994 Crime Bill un­der former Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton which con­trib­uted to the mass in­car­cer­a­tion of a gen­er­a­tion of black men.

San­ders has since said he re­grets vot­ing for the con­tro­ver­sial bill. Bloomberg has also apol­o­gized for not cur­tail­ing “Stop and Frisk” sooner than he did while mayor.

Too lit­tle, too late for all the young black men and their fam­i­lies whose lives were de­stroyed by both.

At the Aspen In­sti­tute event, Bloomberg said, “You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of peo­ple that are get­ting killed. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them …”

Not sur­pris­ingly, the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives tried to stop the tape from be­ing re­leased. It trig­gered cringe­wor­thy head­lines this week and the hash­tag #BloombergI­sARacist that went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia with many call­ing for his with­drawal from the pres­i­den­tial race.

Not a minute too soon.

AP FILE

DROP THE MIKE: Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to sup­port­ers in Jan­uary at a cam­paign of­fice in Scar­bor­ough, Maine.

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