Mayor Bloomberg’s Imaginary Son
In the upcoming August 26 issue of the New Yorker, reporter Ken Auletta sat down with Michael Bloomberg to reflect on his (extended) tenure as Mayor of New York City. The mayor discussed, among other things, his noted lack of empathy in regards to his fellow New Yorkers, and how he would like the Bloomberg Administration to be remembered –”[as an] efficient, honest government that is responsive to the needs of the people, without worrying about politics, focusing instead on the things that will make a difference in the long term.”
Responsive to the needs of the people, …
Which people do you mean, Mr. Mayor? Do you mean the 1,363,855 black and brown people that were submitted to your administration’s stop-and frisk policies? Earlier this summer, Mayor Bloomberg got himself in some hot water when he said, “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.” So, as a way to show what we humans call “empathy,” Mayor Bloomberg tried to walk that back, but attempting to slip his highly manicured feet into black and brown parents’ shoes:
“If I had a son who was stopped, I might feel differently about it, but nevertheless. Maybe I was inelegant, but I don’t think anybody thinks I am anything but—I hope not, anyway—supportive of trying to help all people. With my own money as well as time, thank you very much. I’ve spent twelve years of my life doing this.”
The thing is, if Michael Bloomberg had a son, he would never have to walk home from school, or to the store, or take the subway, or be a young man of color that wasn’t the Mayor’s son. Nice try, Mayor Bloomberg, but I think you need to return your empathy chip.
Update: As I write this, it seems Mayor Bloomberg’s imaginary son of color has a twitter account, behold!
The great prophet Wesley Snipes once said: “…ALWAYS BET ON BLACK.” Long as you’re not betting on Black vs. the NYPD that should be fine.
— Leroy Bloomberg (@bloombergs_son) August 19, 2013