Daily Revolt

November 06, 2007

Giuliani Divisive as Mayor

As a New Yorker during Rudolph Giuliani's reign as Mayor, I saw first hand his racially divisive policies. This is a fact that has not mentioned so far during the campaign. Do we want a President that is indifferent to the plight of African-Americans:
Even as he defends his Police Department daily from what he has characterized as bashing, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is facing increasingly vocal criticism of his style and tactics on law enforcement matters from an unlikely quarter: police officers.

Many officers interviewed by The New York Times said that they appreciated Mr. Giuliani's support for the officers involved in the recent shooting of an unarmed black man. But many of the same officers also said the mayor's zero-tolerance approach to crime, his limited outreach to the black and Latino communities and his criticism of the dead man, Patrick M. Dorismond, had needlessly widened the breach between the police force and people in many of the neighborhoods it serves.

This case involved the shooting of an innocent black man. The NY Times article is from February 2000:
After three days of attacks from protesters and black clergy infuriated by his defense of the police and the Amadou Diallo verdicts, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani fought back yesterday and called remarks made by the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, his former ally, ''extremely political'' and ''hateful.''

[...]In a sermon at the Abyssinian Baptist Church on Sunday, Mr. Butts said that there was ''an evil that permeates the place called City Hall'' and that Mr. Giuliani ''is simply reinforcing white supremacy'' in the city.

[...]Mr. Giuliani's remarks were in sharp contrast to his conciliatory statements on Friday expressing sympathy for Mr. Diallo's family after the verdicts acquitting the four white officers were announced. Yesterday, the mayor said repeatedly that his critics were prejudiced, that criticism of the police was unfair and that he was proud of the way he and Police Commissioner Howard Safir had handled a case that had clouded his administration for more than a year.

He fired his Police Commissioner because he was becoming too popular. I kid not:
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani yesterday brushed off criticism directed at him by William J. Bratton, the former police commissioner who is a possible Republican candidate for mayor, and mocked him for staying as a guest in the White House.

Mr. Bratton was quoted in a Daily News column yesterday as saying that the mayor ''has missed a great opportunity to create better race relations.''

Even supporters were critical of Giuliani's Mayoral "style":
Long Island Republican Congressman Peter King, the son of a cop who will eventually endorse Giuliani, said, "Rudy is a great wartime mayor. But once he got rid of murderers and squeegee men, he kept going--jaywalkers, vendors; he couldn't stop himself. Obviously, the cop made a mistake here, but the mayor can't acknowledge it." Former Giuliani aide and Republican National Committee chairman Rich Bond worried out loud that Giuliani's strong defense in this particular case could turn what has been a huge positive for the mayor--his record on crime--into a negative.

The unpopular Mayor:
In the aftermath of the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, fewer than a quarter of all New Yorkers believe that the police treat blacks and whites evenly, with blacks in particular viewing the police with fear and distrust, according to a New York Times poll.

Nearly 9 out of 10 black residents questioned in the survey said they thought the police often engaged in brutality against blacks, and almost two-thirds said police brutality against members of minority groups is widespread. More than two-thirds of blacks said the policies of the Giuliani administration have caused an increase in police brutality.

The survey suggests that police matters and race relations -- along with a growing dislike for the assertive style of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani -- have combined to give him the lowest job-approval rating of his five-year tenure, 42 percent, reflecting a sudden, precipitous drop in his popularity. Just five months ago, a New York Times/CBS News poll found 63 percent of city residents approved of Mr. Giuliani's performance.

Do we want a person like this as President of the United States? We already have a arrogant bully in the White House, and that hasn't worked out too well:
Mr. Giuliani's political career has often been marred by his inability to control his temper. And since becoming Mayor he has exhibited a persistent tendency to disparage and humiliate -- often in public -- anyone who disagrees with him. He seems to enjoy governing by fear, relishing his role as the city's chief whipmaster, and the more he's gotten away with it the more he's been inclined to continue.

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