2013-08-19 20:19:42

Is Bloomberg Racist, Sexist or Clueless?

 (The Root) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a tough week. At least, tough compared to most weeks for the white, straight male billionaire who runs one of the world's leading cities, and by most accounts has led a fairly charmed life that usually involves getting his way -- even if that means paying for the privilege.

But the Bloomberg who has been praised in progressive circles for his advocacy on gun control is in danger of having his legacy eclipsed by another Bloomberg who does not inspire progressive admiration, but shame. The mayor's obsession with maintaining stop and frisk, a policy that both civil rights activists and a federal judge have deemed discriminatory in execution, a conclusion that all data collected on the subject supports, has cast him as someone who is racially insensitive at best, and subtly racist at worst. Now his reaction to the recent ruling by federal judge Shira Scheindlin, who found stop and frisk unconstitutional, is renewing questions of whether or not the mayor is not only racially insensitive but also insensitive when it comes to gender issues.

During an appearance on his weekly radio show, he was repeatedly condescending and dismissive of Scheindlin's ruling, qualifications and role as a jurist, referring to her as "some woman" who was unqualified to make such a ruling. "Your safety and the safety of your kids is now in the hands of some woman who does not have the expertise to do it," he said. He went on to add that she knows "absolutely zero" about policing. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Scheindlin is actually far more qualified on the legalities of stop and frisk than the mayor. She "has a master's degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Cornell University, was a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn and general counsel to the city Department of Investigation before becoming a judge." Read more here.