New audio of Micheal Bloomberg defending his controversial “stop and frisk” policy has gone viral. Still, this is not a random instance of Bloomberg having a story that reflects poorly when it comes to minority relations. A 2011 New York Times article chronicles how Mayor Bloomberg had an increase of discrimination claims compared to the Guliani administration in years past.
The article highlights that some experts believed that then-Mayor Bloomberg talked about how “perception and reality” were very different when it came to the Bloomberg administration’s stance on “civil rights.”
“[d]uring Mr. Bloomberg’s first two terms in office, the number of lawsuits by employees accusing the city of discrimination was 12 percent higher than the number during Rudolph W. Giuliani’s two terms as mayor.”
“‘Some people may think that this is a surprise, given Bloomberg’s reputation for presiding over a quote calmer city unquote,’ said Craig Gurian, a former counsel to the New York City Commission on Human Rights who is now executive director of the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York.
‘But there has always been a tremendous disparity between perception and reality,’ he added, ‘and the reality is that this administration is just not serious about civil rights enforcement.’
[T]he city’s Equal Employment Practices Commission, which conducts audits of city agencies to help identify potentially discriminatory practices and prevent lawsuits, has lost roughly half of its auditors under Mr. Bloomberg.
[D]ata furnished by the State Division of Human Rights showed that the number of employment discrimination complaints, which generally must precede lawsuits, was generally higher under Mr. Bloomberg than under Mr. Giuliani. The number of complaints peaked in 2007, at more than 330, roughly double what it was during each of the last three years of the Giuliani administration.”
With a Democratic Party that has claimed to be the champion of social and economic justice, it is hard to see how Micheal Bloomberg, a billionaire from NYC who has a checkered past with race and gender relations, will end up being the nominee for the party.