07/30/2013 10:13 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2013

Harry Belafonte Endorses Bill de Blasio In New York City Mayoral Race


Civil rights activist and singer Harry Belafonte is throwing his support behind New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, according to the Daily News.

His reason for backing the candidate is based on de Blasio’s support of legislation that could make it easier to sue the NYPD for racial profiling. It comes as no surprise, considering Belafonte's history of civic activism and recent participation in the "Stand Your Ground" protests at the Florida state capitol.

However, the endorsement likely comes as a shock to Bill Thompson, who is the only black candidate in the mayoral race. In a recent Quinnipiac Poll, both Thompson and de Blasio fell in second place behind Christine Quinn. Thompson also lands second with black Democrats with 22 percent of support, while de Blasio is currently in fourth place with 16 percent.

The 86-year-old has been well-known for his political participation throughout his career, a responsibility he has said present-day celebrities fail to take on. Recently, his comments about celebrities and social responsibility made headlines when he specifically called out Beyonce and Jay Z.

The rapper and mogul responded, saying he was disappointed in Belafonte for calling him out in that way.

“You’re this Civil Rights activist and you just big’d up the white guy against me in the white media.”

The endorsement will reportedly be officially announced later today alongside Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who will also announce her support for de Blasio.



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