“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president [Barack Obama] loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” – Rudy Giuliani
In 1992, as a reporter for New York Newsday, I stood in front of City Hall and witnessed a racially orchestrated mob of white men, many drinking beer and packing guns and most of them –10,000 strong — carrying metal badges that identified them as New York City police officers.
A block way, Rudy Giuliani, who was running for mayor of New York against Mayor David Dinkins, fired up the raucous crowd of cops by calling Dinkins’ proposals “Bullsh–.’’ Cops waved signs that read: “Dump the Washroom Attendant” and some shouted the N-word to describe the city’s first African-American mayor.
This was Giuliani’s crowd – New York’s finest — white, rowdy cops who ran roughshod over the city simply because they opposed a Black mayor. And Giuliani was certainly part of the problem because he wasn’t interested in being part of the solution. In fact, he encouraged their racist behavior.
“Rudy was out there inciting white cops to riot,” Dinkins later told The New York Times.
So today, 24 years later, Giuliani is being considered for a premier appointment in the new White House administration – perhaps Secretary of State — 10 days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Giuliani would be an absolute disaster on the world stage. He does not have the temperament to negotiate with world leaders; he is sometimes mean-spirited and, as a former prosecutor, he prefers to steam-roll adversaries instead of offering olive branches. His rough-and-tumble management style in New York boiled down to this: My way or the highway.
As mayor of New York, Giuliani was widely considered racially divisive, a leader who showed constant insensitivity and disregard for African-Americans and other people of color. He often refused to meet with Black leaders and frequently dismissed issues of importance to them. Black folks would often tell me they felt Giuliani was the mayor for “white New Yorkers.”
Giuliani’s insensitivity toward African-Americans was legendary.
He defended the officers who shot Amadou Diallo 19 times after he pulled a wallet out of his jacket to show them his ID. He touted “Stop and Frisk,” a hard-line racial profiling policy that was ultimately deemed unconstitutional. And in 2000, Giuliani again angered African-Americans after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man, Patrick Dorismond, saying Dorismond wasn’t an “altar boy.”
Last year, Giuliani disparaged another Black man – this time it was President Barack Obama.
“I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said of Obama during a dinner in Midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
Giuliani is an awful choice for America’s top diplomat, simply because he is unwilling to realize diplomacy. What is Giuliani’s position on continued aid to Africa? Would he travel to Africa as Secretary of State? What about poverty in Haiti?
Giuliani didn’t care much about African-Americans in New York so it’s hard to imagine that as Secretary of State Giuliani would suddenly develop compassion for Black people outside the U.S.
The job of Secretary of State calls for subtlety among world leaders and Giuliani, predictably, enjoys wielding a sledgehammer.
What do you think?
PHOTO: PR Photos