Rudy Giuliani Doesn't Care About Black People

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

TPM posted a clip on Friday of Rudy Giuliani screaming "bullsh*t" at a police union rally in 1992. Surprisingly, several leading conservative blogs complained bitterly, questioning the significance of the video.

At first blush, the clip appears to reinforce concerns about Giuliani's temperament, but even more important was the context in which the comments were made. As Greg Sargent explained, a lengthy piece in the New York Times today helps clarify exactly why Giuliani's outburst matters.
...Mr. Giuliani took a fateful step that would for years prompt questions about his racial sensitivities. In September 1992, he spoke to a rally of police officers protesting Mr. Dinkins's proposal for a civilian board to review police misconduct.
It was a rowdy, often threatening, crowd. Hundreds of white off-duty officers drank heavily, and a few waved signs like "Dump the Washroom Attendant," a reference to Mr. Dinkins. A block away from City Hall, Mr. Giuliani gave a fiery address, twice calling Mr. Dinkins's proposal "bullshit." The crowd cheered. Mr. Giuliani was jubilant.
"If you're acculturated to like cops, you don't necessarily see 10,000 white guys who don't vote in the city, don't write political checks and love you for the wrong reason," an aide said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is working with the Giuliani presidential campaign.
Mr. Dinkins has not forgotten that sea of angry cops. "Rudy was out there inciting white cops to riot," Mr. Dinkins said in a recent interview.
A year later, Giuliani asked aides to identify potential pitfalls for his mayoral campaign. The "vulnerability study" cited Giuliani's "shrieking performance," and noted that he had inexplicably failed to denounce those who levied racist attacks on Dinkins.

That's why the video clip is important, not because of a candidate's profanity, which is hardly a disqualifier in a presidential race, but because Giuliani's speech appears to have been an attempt to stoke racist animus against an African-American mayor.

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