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Bloomberg: My Story Would Have Been Different If I'd Been Black

Presidential candidate acknowledges his white privilege to woo black voters
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2020 8:47 AM CST
Michael Bloomberg speaks during a service at the Vernon Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Okla., on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – Michael Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk policy while heading up the Big Apple has become his Achilles' heel in the 2020 campaign, Politico notes. Now, however, the ex-mayor is trying to convince black Americans he's the best candidate for the job, traveling to cities with large black populations and acknowledging his white privilege. He spoke over the weekend in Tulsa, Okla., where he gave a speech at the Vernon Chapel AME Church. "I often say my story would only have been possible in America—and I think that's true," Bloomberg said Sunday. "But I also know that my story might have turned out very differently if I had been black, and that more black Americans of my generation would have ended up with far more wealth had they been white." Per ABC News, Bloomberg has since apologized for the stop-and-frisk policy during his NYC tenure, and he noted during his speech, "I was wrong."

Some say his mea culpa may not be enough. "He doesn't really understand just what black people are concerned about in enough of a personal way to be relatable," civil rights activist Maya Wiley says, per Politico. "And I say that not because I don't think he is trying, but because I don't think he understands." Meanwhile, per NBC News, Bloomberg weighed in Monday on what he'd do if he were a senator taking part in President Trump's impeachment trial. "I'd have to swallow two or three times, but I would say I would vote to convict because there's so much evidence that he acted inappropriately," he said on the Today show, though he added the impeachment overall was "not good," and that he feels the US would be "much better off letting the voters decide who is president." (Read more Michael Bloomberg stories.)

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