African-American gun rights activist Maj Toure mocked the prospect of a Michael Bloomberg-Hillary Clinton presidential ticket, saying that both Democrats have pursued policies that have been harmful to the black community.
The remark was a reference to Bloomberg's support for the "stop and frisk" policing practice that rose in prominence in New York City and Hillary Clinton's labeling of some African-American youth as "superpredators" during a 1996 speech in New Hampshire.
Toure is the founder of Black Guns Matter, a gun-rights group that "educates people in urban communities in all 50 states on their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities through firearms training and education," according to its website.
Now a newly resurfaced clip of Bloomberg discussing a multimillion-dollar initiative to help young men has raised new concerns about his approach to minority communities.
In the 2011 clip, Bloomberg said, "There's this enormous cohort of black and Latino males age, let's say 16 to 25, that don't have jobs, don't have any prospects, don't know how to find jobs, don't know what their skill sets are, don't know how to behave in the workplace."
"What do you think when you see that?" asked Wall Street Journal editorial page assistant editor James Freeman. "You say his heart is in the right place and he's bad at expressing things, or you say this is not a good guy and he can't be president?"
"I think he's an elitist that has no attachment to the community," said Toure. "He has this white savior complex like he wants to come tell all of the black and brown people that you guys don't know anything."
"It's downright offensive," agreed former FBI terrorist task force member and adviser for the Trump 2020 campaign, Steve Rogers. "Obviously, I'm white. I was offended by that. Why? Because I happen to know a lot of minority corporate executives, teachers, professors who contribute so much to this country."
"I know what he was getting at because I saw him put this stuff into effect," said Mark Glaze, who is a former Bloomberg aide and executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety, which Bloomberg founded and chairs.
"There is an absence of programs that will allow folks who are in that so-called 'cohort' to actually get into the economy, stay there and keep moving up, which is why he did things like start the Young Men's Initiative in New York City that later became a model for the Obama administration programs," argued Glaze.
Freeman suggested that a new political ad from the Bloomberg campaign may be meant to "counter" the impression that Bloomberg harbors stereotypes against minorities.
The commercial showed Bloomberg announcing a strategy to address the wealth gap between white and black communities, called the Greenwood Initiative.
"The wealth gap is inextricably linked to the racial inequalities of the past," said Bloomberg in the ad, "And I'm determined to make breaking that link a centerpiece of my presidency."
"The reality is, when he was in a political position, he supported policies that he admitted disproportionately affected, negatively, black and brown people," said Toure in reaction to the video. 'We know how this goes in the 'hood, everybody says anything in an election cycle."
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