One of the things I find compelling is the way politicians treat African-American voters as a monolith, controlled by Black Pastors.
Now I do understand why they would want to go to Black Churches when they want to reach the African-American voting core. After all, Black women are the backbone of the black church and black women are the most reliable voting block in the country.
And so political aspirants believe that regardless of what harm they did to the African-American community in the past, all they have to do is to visit a black church, offer up a mea culpa and all is forgotten.
But hold up there Busta, that ain’t gonna always fly.
The county executive in my neck of the woods told me that my pastor endorsed his candidacy after I disagreed with him on an issue.
Okay, truth be told, I disagree with him on everything. He is white, male and Republican, hardly anything on which he and I can agree.
I flatly told him that my Pastor does not speak for me.
Which brings me to the current crop of aspirants for the Democratic Nomination in 2020.
In my estimation, one of the reasons that so many white male candidates have failed to register any support in the primaries may be attributed to their lack of appeal to Black voters.
Take congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio for example, he never seemed to grasp that the presidency is much larger than Ohio’s 13th congressional district.
Dude, you were running for the presidency not to remain in the congress, during the debates his every answer was about his district. The fact is that African-Americans make up the base of the Democrat party, blacks have precious little in common with Ryan’s 13th conservative/democrat district in Ohio, and so he was out real quick.
There were several other white male candidates, Bennet. Bullock. Delaney. Steyer and of course Buttigieg, neither of these men have figured out a way to appeal to black voters despite the fact that they are running on the Democrat ticket. Bernie Sanders marched with Dr. King and still, he cannot seem to shake the nagging suspicion with which many black voters view his candidacy.
Neither of them will be the nominee for their party of choice it appears.
This brings us to Michael Bloomberg the former Democrat turned Republican, turned Independent, turned Democrat, billionaire three-term Mayor of New York City.
He decided that he wants to be president, because the present crop of Democrats doesn’t seem to meet with his approval.
You know one fake billionaire was able to worm his way into 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, so as a real billionaire he should be able to do it quite easily, right?
He should ask Tom Styer how his candidacy is working out.
I’ll never forget that Michael Bloomberg felt that the lying deceptive Rudolph Giuliani must have been indispensable in 2003 after his second term ended. Michael Bloomberg and Mark Green one of the Democrat candidates vying to be mayor of the city agreed that if they won the election they would allow Giuliani to stay on for an extra three (3) months as Mayor to supervise the rebuilding efforts in the city. Fernando Ferrer the other democrat candidate said no.
The power-hungry Giuliani waged an intense lobbying effort to stay in office arguing: “It will give people in the city who have fears about what’s going to happen, and how it’s going to happen, a certain sense of confidence.“
What nonsense, it was an unvarnished power-grab but Bloomberg allowed his crony to do it because he had plans of his own.
Fernando Ferrer would have none of it arguing; “I know the politics of the moment might dictate a different position, but I am deeply concerned about the precedent this would set.”
Now, remember it was the same Giuliani who made the decision to place the city’s command and control center in the world trade center tower, even after the towers were attacked ten years earlier.
At the time Giuliani was lobbying for more time in office in classic dictatorial fashion, the state’s Republican Governor George Pataki was also all for it.
The New York Civil Rights Coalition was harshly critical of the plan, accusing Giuliani of bullying the mayoral candidates and being “disruptive to electoral democracy.”
According to Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg agreed to his plan immediately.
In the end, Michael Bloomberg allowed Giuliani to stay on after his term ended. Conceivably not out of any desire to see continuity in the rebuilding process after the events of September 11th, 2001, but because he had plans of his own to strong-arm the city council to change the term limits law.
The law only allowed for two terms up to Giuliani’s tenure.
During his tenure as Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, the Republican Mayor was a regular little Napoleon.
Bloomberg supported and championed a ban on large sugary drinks. Simply put, Michael Bloomberg felt that as Mayor of New York City he and his Board of Health, had the right to dictate to New Yorkers what size sodas they were allowed to have.
I’m not sure whether Communist nations and other dictatorships tell their citizens how much sugar they can and cannot consume? Obviously, Michael Bloomberg had not acquainted himself with the failings of the 18th amendment to the US constitution.
In a 4 – 2 epic smackdown of Bloomberg’s measure, Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals wrote in a 20-page decision, that the city’s Board of Health “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority.”
The American Beverage Association at the time argued: “the proposal would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”
This issue was about (freedom of choice), even if one agrees that maybe its not such a bad idea to consume less sugar, it is never a good idea when the Government becomes the arbiter of what one should and shouldn’t consume.
Bill de Blasio, the present Mayor of the city supported Bloomberg’s over-reach at the time.
In a March 2007 article for New York Magazine Chris Smith wrote; Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come to Pier 76, just off the West Side Highway, on a crisp Tuesday afternoon in March to open new stables for an NYPD mounted unit, and he’s downright giddy, his voice rising as he lists the features of the $8.7 million facility. “The four-legged members of Troop B needed a hayloft!” he exclaims. “As well as stalls! An equipment room, a heated exercise area, and their own shower!”
At the time, family homelessness was on the rise. The situation was worsened by a Bloomberg program called Housing Stability Plus, which shrank payments to families living in subsidized units. Yes, Michael Bloomberg, the Republican billionaire Mayor shrank payments to families living in subsidized housing. It is usually the least powerful, poorest people who live in those subsidized housing units.
Smith wrote; Unemployment is down, but to me, one of the most haunting images of 2006 was the thousands of desperate people lined up in midtown hoping for a chance at a handful of jobs at the new M&M candy store in Times Square. Deaths of children “known” to the child-welfare system skyrocketed last year.
And Sean Bell an innocent African-American man, was murdered by NYPD COPS on the early morning of the day he was supposed to be married.
As Michael Bloomberg basked in his new police horse-stable with equipment rooms, heated exercise areas, and showers, a reporter asked him “What about the Bell supporters who are angry that more cops weren’t indicted”?
Smith wrote that the mood soured as soon as Sean Bell’s name was mentioned. Bloomberg retorted in response to the question; “We’re a country of laws!” he says sharply. “The district attorney made his case to the grand jury, the grand jury has indicted three people, they will have their day in court, and justice will be served, whatever that is.”
Bloomberg cared much more about the new showplace for horses than the fact that his goons had murdered an innocent young man on the day he was to be married.
Sean Bell and many others were murdered, brutalized and harassed as a result of the broken windows policy called “stop and frisk”, started by the other Republican Gestapo Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.
Michael Bloomberg continued it, and allowed Black and Brown people of the city to be subjected to untold terror by out of control cops who saw the laws as a license to abuse those they did not like.
According to the New York Daily News, In 2013, a judge ruled the practice had been applied in an unconstitutional way and a federal monitor was appointed to oversee reforms.
Michael Bloomberg railed against the judge’s decision at the time and supported its continuance despite the fact that the NYPD had started reducing the use of stop-and-frisk on its own, an effort championed by Mayor de Blasio when he took office in 2014.
Bloomberg supported the practice for years even after he left office.
Nevertheless, on Sunday, November 17th, 2019 the same Michael Bloomberg was at his friend A R Bernard Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. The aforementioned is the largest mega-church in the tri-state area boasting a membership of forty thousand people.
No particular group votes with more dependability than African-American women. There is no better place to find African-American women than the black church.
And so Michael Bloomberg, opportunistic former Democrat, turned Republican, turned Independent, is now conveniently a Democrat again trying to weasel his way into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
He is at least politically savvy enough to know that you are going nowhere in the Democrat party without winning the black vote.
So here he was addressing the largest black congregation between here and Texas.
The other con artist now occupying the white house is no genius, despite his claim that he is a stable genius. Nevertheless, he was savvy enough to recognize that there is a roughly 35% of disaffected, racist whites somewhere out there who needed someone with a megaphone.
By virtue of his name and fortune Michael Bloomberg has a loud megaphone, what he needs is a following and that is the reason he was in A R Bernard’s church on Sunday morning.
Bloomberg: “I now see that we could and should have acted sooner, and acted faster, to cut the stops.”
“I wish we had and I’m sorry that we didn’t, but I can’t change history,” he continued. “However, today I want you to know that I realized back then that I was wrong and I’m sorry.”
“The fact is, far too many people were being stopped while we tried to [reduce crime] and the overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino.”
“Because of the number of stops of innocent people, because it had been so high, resentment had built up.” “We eroded what we had worked so hard to build: trust. Trust between police and communities, trust between you and me”.
“And the erosion of that trust bothered me deeply. And it still bothers me. And I want to earn it back.”
I call Bullshit on Michael Bloomberg’s mea culpa.
Decades after his continued strident defense of a policy that brought untold agony and hurt to so many.
All of a sudden this opportunistic con artist is sorry?
I don’t think so. It is cynical, transparent, and it is reprehensible.
But there is one threat greater to our people than these devious self-serving politicians. It is the pastors who allow these weasels to come into their churches, knowing that the majority of the congregations look to them not only for spiritual leadership, but political guidance.
On Sunday morning, in bringing his friend Michael Bloomberg to the stage A R Bernard told his congregation; “Come on, CCC, show some love and appreciation.”
Appreciation for what?
Years of police brutality which brought death, pain, and despair to countless African-American and Caribbean-American families?
In the 60s the Black church was at the forefront of the civil rights struggle. Since then, churches pay no taxes on their monetary intake, as long as they stay out of the political arena.
It was an ingenious way for the system to neutralize the black church.
Today, except for a few instances, black church leadership is all about the tithes and offerings and not about the interest of their congregants.
It is time for black voters to tell the Michael Bloombergs of the world that their pastors do not speak for them.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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