Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg’s name will be on the ballot for the first time this week, with voters in more than a dozen states heading to the polls on Tuesday, according to NPR, including in a number of states with large African American populations. And if Bloomberg’s experience during a campaign stop over the weekend is anything to go by, he may be in for some disappointing results.
The Washington Times reported that a number of congregants at the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Selma, Alabama turned their backs on the former New York City mayor when he visited on Sunday.
Bloomberg was there to mark the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a milestone of the civil rights era in which demonstrators were beaten by police while attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
While it was not immediately clear exactly what the churchgoers were protesting, Bloomberg has drawn sharp criticism in recent days for his past support of stop-and-frisk policing policies thought by many on the left to disproportionately target minorities, The Washington Post notes.
Bloomberg dogged by past comments
In recent weeks, video clips have resurfaced of the New York billionaire making a series of disparaging remarks about minority communities. One such clip features Bloomberg complaining about the deportment of young black and Latino men.
“There’s this enormous cohort of black and Latino males, age, let’s say, 16 to 25, that don’t have jobs, don’t have any prospects, don’t know how to find jobs, don’t know what their skill sets are, don’t know how to behave in the workplace where they have to work collaboratively and collectively,” he said.
In another clip, Bloomberg can be heard claiming that “all the crime” happens in minority neighborhoods. He also suggests that the most effective way to disarm blacks and Latinos is to “throw them up against the wall and frisk them.”
Bloomberg made those statements during a 2015 event at the Aspen Institute, and he lobbied the organization to take them offline once they began to circulate at the height of the presidential primary campaign season.
“We basically honor the wishes of our speakers, and Mayor Bloomberg preferred that we not use the video for broadcast,” Jim Spiegelman, the organization’s chief of external affairs, told the Aspen Times.
The insults don’t stop there
In addition to multiple minority communities, Bloomberg has also managed to offend farmers as a result of past comments that have recently come to light.
While speaking at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School in 2016, Bloomberg belittled the skills and expertise of individuals who work in agriculture, saying, according to Fox News:
I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer. It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that.
It’s not difficult to see why those who commit their lives to putting food on America’s tables — among many others — might take umbrage at Bloomberg’s seemingly limitless condescension toward those he perceives to be his intellectual inferiors.