Illustration for article titled Bloomberg Really Just Wants to Stop and Frisk Everybody Not White: Democratic Candidate Defends Muslim Surveillance Program
Screenshot: PBS (YouTube)

In today’s episode of “nah-but-seriously-y’all-ain’t-really-voting-for-that-guy-right?” former NYC mayor and democratic (although I’m not sure anyone has told him yet) candidate Mike Bloomberg, in a PBS interview that aired on Thursday, adamantly defended a heavily criticized surveillance program that targeted American Muslims allowing for them to be profiled and for their mosques and other social spaces to be spied on.

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PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff asked Bloomberg some tough but fairly straight forward questions about his past advocacy for the police surveillance program, mentioning that “at one point undercover officers were sent with a student on a rafting trip” and that independent investigators found that “not a single arrest was made that could be attributed to this surveillance.”

Bloomberg responded by reminding Woodruff that the policy was enacted “right after 9/11 where everybody was petrified about another terrorist attack,” to which Woodruff responded with a simple question: “Did you think it was necessary to single out Muslim Americans in that way and would you do that as president?”

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And that’s when Bloomberg reminded us that he’s really just Donald Trump dressed in Democrat blue.

“There’s no question about where the terrible people ― who committed the terrible atrocities of the three airplane crashes and all the people getting killed ― where they came from, so it was the natural place to go,” Bloomberg said in a quote that, if his name had been left off of the transcript, could easily be attributed to Trump, from the underlying bigotry to the “airplane crashes and all the people getting killed” part which sounds like Cheeto-Hitler speech verbatim.

Just in case you were thinking, “Well, it couldn’t possibly get any worse than that,” Woodruff pointed out that “it wasn’t a religion that killed them,” to which Bloomberg responded, “All of the people came from the same place and all that came were from a place they happened to be one religion. And if they’d been another religion, we would’ve done the same thing.”

(Note: by “the same place,” Bloomberg is referring to the Middle East, which is comprised of 17 different whole ass countries, and while most of them are majority Muslim countries, Islam is not the only religion practiced in the region. But Bloomberg don’t need no stinking facts; he’s only running for president after all.)

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One would not have to stretch their reasoning too far to point out the demonstrable load of white nonsense that spewed from Bloomberg’s mouth to form the words, “if they’d been another religion, we would’ve done the same thing.” After all, we’ve seen report after report after report showing that the biggest rise in terroristic threat comes from white, Christian nationalists in our own backyard. Yet, I could sell every bridge in the nation to anyone who honestly believes that Bloomberg, as president, would sign legislation allowing police officers to infiltrate random churches, NASCAR events or Boy Scout’s rafting trips in the name of protecting the country from terrorists.

Woodruff tried to move on but Bloomberg cut her off, deciding that his next thought would clean things up a bit (which it absolutely did not).

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“It does not, incidentally, mean that all Muslims are terrorists or all terrorists are Muslim. But, the people that flew those airplanes came from the Middle East and some of the imams were urging more of the same,” Bloomberg said, also claiming that “there were imams who publicly at that time were urging the terrorism.”

According to ABC News, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) responded to Bloomberg’s interview comments with the mother fucking truth much scorn.

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“This is an insulting attempt to rewrite the history of an unconstitutional surveillance program that left Muslims, particularly in communities of color, devastated,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project said in a statement. “The facts are that the police and city leaders who were supposed to equally protect all our communities instead betrayed them. It took brave Muslims and their supporters to go to court before the NYPD finally agreed to reforms to safeguard communities in New York and beyond.”

Bloomberg’s doubling down on his justifying policies that allow for racial profiling should surprise exactly no one. For years, he defended his infamous “stop and frisk” policy that targeted blacks and Latinos, before he finally decided to haphazardly apologize for it only to go on defending it again.

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“When people show you who they are, believe them.” - Maya Angelou

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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