Cockburn tries to avoid Twitter most times, but couldn’t help but notice Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg trending on Monday night. An old video clip surfaced of Bloomberg giving a not-so-PC explanation for implementing ‘stop and frisk’ policies while serving as mayor of New York City.
#BloombergIsRacist garnered over 25,000 tweets by Tuesday morning, with users slamming his assertion that racial profiling in policing is justified because ‘95 percent of murders’ are committed by young, male minorities.
‘You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,’ Bloomberg says. ‘That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city’.
The clip, which comes from a 2015 speech at the Aspen Institute that Bloomberg sought to have blocked from release, could potentially hurt his recent surge in support among black voters. And it certainly hasn’t earned him any fans among the progressive left, which has been clamoring for major criminal justice reforms. Kamala Harris’s campaign, for example, was dogged relatively early in the primary race by her ‘tough on crime’ prosecutorial record.
However, the relative popularity of ‘stop and frisk’ in NYC reminds us that Twitter is not real life, and that far left ideologues don’t have that much sway. An overwhelming majority — 77 percent of voters — polled in 2013 said they wanted the ‘stop and frisk’ program to continue, albeit with some changes. Black voters initially starkly opposed the policy in 2012, but two-thirds were on board with continuing it by the time of the 2013 poll.
In fact, President Donald Trump apparently believed ‘stop and frisk’ was popular enough that he promised to implement it nationwide during his 2016 campaign.
‘We did it in New York,’ Trump said, arguing that ‘it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind’.
So is Bloomberg officially…canceled? The racially charged video may be a hiccup among the progressive base, but Cockburn suspects it will have little impact on voters at large.