POLITICS

Rudy Giuliani Doesn’t Really Know Much About Racism Or His Own Record With Black People

Epic fail.

Rudy Giuliani sat down with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday to discuss his upcoming speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The chat started off smoothly, with Giuliani saying his address will align with the day’s convention theme, “Make America Safe Again.” But then he pivoted into a fairly racist rant about Black Lives Matter and other issues affecting the black community.

“I made New York safe. I changed it from the largest crime capital of America to the safest large city in America,” the former mayor of New York said. “I’m gonna talk about how we have to support our police, how we have to take into consideration the injustices people feel. We have to do more about it, how our party can do more about it. But that doesn’t justify ambushing and killing police.”

That was just one of many loaded statements Giuliani made throughout the segment. Aside from the fact that he made New York “safe” by implementing “stop and frisk,” a predictive policing method that disproportionately affects black people and Latinos, Giuliani fails to realize that Black Lives Matter doesn’t support violence against police officers. No one who claims to speak for the movement has voiced support for killing police or harming anyone.

The GOP ― and presumptive nominee Donald Trump ― has the answers to problems facing the black community, Giuliani said. He pointed to education vouchers and charter schools as starting points (even though charter schools suspend more black students than white ones and implement strict zero-tolerance policies).  

“The teachers union dominates the Democratic party and refuses to allow black Americans to get the education they should get,” Giuliani said. “I think we have the answer with free market economics and with Donald Trump, who can negotiate better than anyone else to bring jobs back to America so that African-Americans and other minorities can have job opportunities.”

After claiming Trump would be able to bless black people with jobs, Giuliani noted how many people he took off welfare as mayor of New York.

“I took 600,000 people off welfare in New York ― 500,000 with jobs. Most of them were minorities,” he said. “Why do you think crime went down 85 percent under me and Bloomberg?”

Let’s look past the allusion to the common refrain that only black people are on welfare. It’s true that crime tends to drop when employment opportunities are available ― but crime dropped nationwide during Giuliani’s mayoral term, and there’s no connection between “tough-on-crime” policies and crime reduction. New York University sociologist David Greenberg even suggested that policing policies had nothing to do with the drop in crime at all, citing social and economic shifts as the reason.  

Last week, Giuliani said “Black Lives Matter is inherently racist.” Tapper asked the former mayor on Monday if comments like this unite the country or cause further divisions.

Giuliani stuck to his guns.

“When you do not include that all lives matter, when you take someone like the governor of Maryland and intimidate him after he said all lives matter to say, ‘No, black lives matter’ ― that’s dividing the country by race,” he said.

Giuliani doesn’t seem to realize that saying “all lives matter” is actually a racist response to “black lives matter.”

“They should also say black lives matter, all lives matter, blue lives matter, police lives matter,” he added later in the interview. “We’re one country.”  

When Tapper pointed out that many black people feel as though they are targeted because of skin color, Giuliani admitted there is no excuse for that. But he then once again blamed Black Lives Matter for the recent spate of violence against police officers.

“There is no excuse, none, for assassinating police officers and putting targets on their backs,” he said. “We are seeing a repeat of the Black Panther movement where police officers are lured to come and help black people and then are assassinated.”

Tapper ended the chat by asking the former mayor about a recent poll showing Trump had the support of zero percent of black swing-state voters.

“The African-American community has been tied to the Democratic Party forever,” Giuliani said. “What have the Democrats done for the African-Americans in Baltimore? In this city, Cleveland? What have they done for them in Detroit?”

“In the cities in which African-Americans have had Republican mayors like me,” Giuliani continued, “they have been enormously successful. Harlem is much more successful now than it was before. Bedford Stuyvesant.”

Harlem and Bed Stuy, two historically black communities, are being rapidly gentrified and becoming white. 

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