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Rudy Giuliani

Rudolph William Louis Giuliani
Rudolph (Rudy) William Louis Giuliani
Alma materNew York University (Law)
Home BaseNew York City, NY
AKAHizzoner, Ghouliani
Published ByOPP HQ
Published On13 March 2004

This is the story about the racist former US Attorney who appealed to the racist elements in New York City to become its 107th mayor. Some of us will not buy the pretty face the media has put on this guy because we will not forget how he got there and the stunts he pulled. Consider the fact that he has lost almost two dozen cases in which he was charged with violating first amendment rights (mostly involving people of color), and that will be the beginning of why many feel he is the most divisive mayor New York City has ever had. After the events of the Million Youth March (MYM) on Sept. 5, 1998, he made certain that sentiment will hold, even with the events of September 11 which the media used to make him a folk hero in the last four months of his term.

Rudolph William Louis Giuliani was born in Brooklyn on Sunday, May 28, 1944. He was the son of Harold, a reputed mobster who in 1935 did time for armed robbery, and his wife Helen. Rudy entered Manhattan College in 1961 and obtained his law degree from New York University. By 1983, Rudy Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York where he focused on prosecuting the criminal elements that permeated organized crime and government agencies. He was best known for his record of 4,152 convictions with a mere 25 reversals. This was when he switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican, and in 1989, he made his first bid to become the mayor of New York City. After the August, 1989 Bensonhurst, Queens incident where a 16-year-old black youth named Yusef Hawkins was killed by an angry white mob African Americans galvanized a voting bloc and deposed longtime mayor Edward Koch handing a primary victory to black then-Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins. Giuliani was propped up as the great white hope. This campaign was a mess, however. Giuliani named comedian Jackie Mason as honorary campaign chairman, and he went on to set the tone for racial polarization by publicly lamenting that 'There is a sick Jewish problem of voting for a Black man no matter how unfit he is for the job', further referring to Dinkins as "a fancy schvartze in a bad suit.' Though Giuliani eventually cut Mason from the team, this was just one of many problems with the campaign and he lost by a margin of 2%.

Giuliani spent the next four years courting every bigot in New York City for another shot at the mayoralship. He credited notorious radio racist Bob Grant for boosting his campaign and participated and cheered on racist, riotous police officers staging a "rally" outside City Hall in September, 1992. Sadly, it worked, and he was able to defeat Dinkins, ironically by a margin of 2%.

If one was to listen to Bob Grant's radio show at this time one would hear callers suggesting that Giuliani should not care about the concerns of the black community since they did not vote for him, and he must have taken that to heart. Indeed, certain members of his staff, particularly Communications Director Cristyne Latergano, discouraged the mayor from reaching out to the black community on that basis alone. Still, the buck had to stop with Rudy. Former aides have contended that this attitude towards Black was born out of vindictiveness.

In his first two weeks, he eliminated the city's eight ethnic liaison offices and the affirmative action program for minority and women contractors started by Mayor Dinkins. In justifying the administration's decision, Giuliani's Deputy Mayor, John Dyson commented that a prospective contractor 'ought to know the difference between a bid and a watermelon'. Despite the clearly offensive sentiments of the statement, Giuliani refused to dismiss the deputy mayor. Rudy's allegiance to members of his staff who continually espoused such divisive rhetoric, served as an indication to the Black community that he did not hold all members of his constituency in the same esteem. At this point, none of his four deputy mayors were Black.

But there is more. During Giuliani's first four years as mayor, he had instituted a number of "quality of life" initiatives to supposedly combat the drug problem. According to Raybblin Vargas, the initiatives ranged from no public drinking of alcohol to no loitering on the streets to no bike riding on the sidewalks to round ups of Washington Heights youth who fit a "gang profile." The neighborhood police precincts -- Washington Heights has three of them within 20 blocks -- were told to strictly enforce these laws, and they did. If three or more teenagers walked down the street and fit a gang profile -- which largely depends on what kind of clothes the youth are wearing -- the cops would throw them against the wall and perform a search. The teenagers didn't have to do anything wrong, but sometimes a cop would find a stash of drugs and the kid or kids would become another drug law statistic.

Raybblin Vargas works for the Prison Moratorium Project in New York City, which hopes to ban state prison construction for five years. She is also a military intelligence expert in the Army Reserves and works with community-based organizations throughout the city. When Vargas returned to Washington Heights after concluding her studies at the University of Chicago in October 1997, she couldn't believe what she saw in her old neighborhood; it seemed to be ruled under martial law. Giuliani claimed the barricades were set up to protect innocent citizens and weed out the drug dealers. Vargas believed it was just another example of Giuliani abusing powerless immigrants -- Washington Heights' population is largely made up of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. "Activists in the South Bronx told me it's a form of psychological warfare," Vargas said.

Vargas also knows of cases where teenagers, who didn't break the law before a search, fought back out of frustration -- he knew he did nothing wrong, and he knew the color of his skin caused the search. The teenager would unfortunately throw a punch at the police, and the cop would charge the kid for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Another prison statistic. In the meantime, the local high schools are overcrowded, the public library is open only four days a week during the school year (three days during the summer) and landlords are forcing out longtime residents through pressure tactics, hoping Columbia University's continuing expansion of its medical center on 165th Street and Broadway will bring them more wealthy tenants. The system, in other words, does nothing to help people on the fringes.

Giuliani eventually appointed Rudy Washington as his first Black deputy mayor, but he had to be given a special police identification card in an effort to alleviate the random traffic stops that plagued Washington while traveling in his boss' city. This act of protecting his Black deputy mayor from the humiliation of racially based police harassment, contradicted Giuliani's repeated denials that his police force was targeting people of color disproportionately. That played out early on. He was not mayor a week before the first controversial shot was taken by his administration.

Responding to what was later discovered as a hoax 911 robbery call, New York City police barged into Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7 on 125th Street in Harlem. A standoff between Muslims and police escalated, and in the ensuing scuffle between the two groups, cops were thrown down a flight of stairs and an officer's radio and gun were taken. The police were in direct violation of their own policies regarding entering 'sensitive locations', such as places of worship, but no one should have expected Giuliani to care. He was immediately on the phone demanding that the police storm the mosque and make mass arrests. Though it was his first day on the job, Police Commissioner Bratton found himself in the middle of this firestorm trying to calm the mayor down, while members of his force negotiated with the Muslims. Giuliani refused to recant his call to storm the mosque. This pissed a lot of people off, because no one believed Giuliani's reaction would have been the same had it been a Catholic Church in the middle of Bensonhurst.

Four days later, Bratton was scheduled to meet with Black leaders at One Police Plaza to quell the hostility growing in the Black community. Among the invited guests was Reverend Al Sharpton. When the group arrived, Bratton's tone of reconciliation had changed dramatically. He cancelled the meeting due to directives sent down from City Hall.

Sharpton immediately went public with his anger over the affront. He made it clear that he would be more vocal and proactive than ever in his quest to destroy this new, intolerant administration.

In regards to police officers, he was overly apologetic for their transgressions to a fault, and he gave them carte blanche to do whatever it is they wished. He slammed the Amnesty International Report detailing problems of police brutality in the NY Police Force, and even the report of the police task force he himself created in response to the Abner Louima incident. On his watch, over 100 people have been killed by police officers, four officers are incarcerated for manslaughter, and two more went to jail for the Abner Louima incident.

In his most blatant display of race-baiting politics, he picked a fight with the late Kahlid Abdul Muhammad over the MYM. It is correct, incidentally to call Dr. Muhammad on his position, but Giuliani is the last person to do so. The mayor thought he could deny the organizers of the MYM a permit for the rally, but they took him to Federal Court and won the right. They however, was told they had to end the rally at 4:00. In the past, we have learned that Giuliani will hide behind the letter of the law to hurt those who are against him. He did it a number of times to the black community in past marches. This time, when the march didn't sufficiently disperse at 4:01, the police attacked.

Muhammad, however knew the mayor would pull this so he warned the participants that if they are attacked, fight back. 16 cops were beat down that day, and Giuliani was made to look like an idiot. Even one of the police officers there, wrote a letter to the Daily News saying how Giuliani set things back 20 years.

On September 11, 1997, Mayor Giuliani was hosting his weekly radio show on Talk Radio 77 WABC in New York. His first caller was a well-known racist caller named "Hal from North Bergen" (a/k/a Hal Turner) who asked the Mayor about what some considered an obvious double-standard the Mayor was employing regarding a racial incident in the Broad Channel section of the city. A float in a local parade depicted men in black-face in a pick-up truck with another man chained to the rear of it, making fun of the Jasper, TX murder of a black man. Giuliani made clear that if any City employees were part of that float, he would demand their resignations or fire them. Giuliani cited a rule prohibiting Police and city employees from engaging in hate groups or other such activities. Many, however, believe this is simply a way for the mayor to save face after the shameless way he behaved with the MYM.

As the NYCLU pointed out, there are scores of complaints against police officers regarding racial slurs being used on the job, and none were ever fired. Hal, however tried to suggest that a group called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement actively participated in the MYM, distributing leaflets during the rally and may have assisted in organizing the event. Hal asked the Mayor why he wasn't demanding resignations from those city employees or threatening to fire them. Giuliani became instantly outraged, refused to answer the question, hung up on Hal then proceeded to throw a temper tantrum on the air. Of course, attacking 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement is EXACTLY what we expected this to lead up to. There are not many organizations within Law Enforcement in NYC that actually look out for the people, and Rudy want to do something about that by eliminating them, especially if they support people of color. By the way, to date, Rudy has won only one of 22 trials involving his violation of first amendment rights.

Giuliani eventually fell on bad times, looking more and more like the idiot he is, He bowed out of the Senate Race citing health concerns that apparently did not affect him in any other capacity other than facing First Lady Hillary Clinton in the 2000 campaign that she eventually won. Insiders said beforehand, however that he will not win because the Republicans are actually grooming him for US Attorney General and are using the campaign to sell him for that post. The more folks keep ignoring what this asshole is up to, the more it will affect all of us in the worst way.

Over the weekend of December 4, 1999 and the following Monday, there were massive protests against him, one of them for his attacks on the homeless in an attempt to curry favor with a public reading about a brick attack on a woman by someone the media termed as homeless (the suspect they arrested lived with his girlfriend). In 2001 he decided to take more shots at the black community by releasing a report citing the high level of crime among blacks and in black neighborhood, something he and other New York City conservatives have used to try and justify the brutality blacks, even those without criminal records have had to deal with. All of this and his divorce from Donna Hanover too.

Then came the attacks of September 11, and whatever transgression Giuliani was guilty of became a quick memory, as conservatives attempted to use the tragedy to whitewash their people. Dummya, who was poised to be a lame duck in his first year, got a good clean, and Giuliani was polished up as well. Even his detractors gave him good marks for his handling of affairs in the midst of the World Trade Center attack, but African Americans will not allow that to absolve Giuliani of his past sins. In fact, all was remembered by the time he gave a commencement address in Syracuse, when the demonstration against him received more press than his speech. He had mulled over a possible run for the governorship of New York, but that fell through. Now it looks like his campaign to run for President, spurred on by his post-9/11 image, propels him to the frontrunner spot. Needless to say, there is no way in hell he will be president. Ever.