Bloomberg gets icy reception during speech in Selma
SELMA — Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is currently seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, received the cold shoulder from some attendees at Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma on Sunday.
Bloomberg, along with every major Democratic contender except U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), was in Selma for the 55th anniversary of the infamous Bloody Sunday events when peaceful protesters seeking equal rights for black Americans were beaten by white police officers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The anniversary has been deemed the “Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee” by the event’s organizers.
Several people taking in one of the day’s main ceremonies at Brown Chapel AME stood and turned their backs to Bloomberg in protest when he was speaking from the pulpit.
The pastor leading the service asked the group that stood to return to their seats after they had been standing for about two minutes. The protesters did so promptly and were never loud or disruptive.
Bloomberg has drawn criticism from some leaders in the black community for the implementation of “stop and frisk” policies during his time as mayor of New York City. Studies have shown the policy led to disproportionately unfair treatment for black and brown men in the city.
However, the mayor has been endorsed by State Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and State Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), the minority leaders of the Alabama House and Alabama Senate respectively.
Additionally, his campaign has received the endorsement of the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC), a group that identifies as the “Black Caucus” of the state Democratic Party. It should be noted that Alabama’s black voters have bucked the ADC before, such as in 2008 when primary voters supported Barack Obama overwhelmingly instead of ADC-endorsed Hillary Clinton.
In contrast to Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden has received the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Selma Mayor Dario Melton.
Biden was also in Selma on Sunday morning and received a warm reception from the crowd. He was introduced by Sewell, who is a native of Selma and grew up attending Brown Chapel AME.
Bloomberg and Biden were the only two candidates to speak at Brown Chapel’s service, but U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the recently dropped out businessman Tom Steyer all sat in the audience for part of the ceremony.
Yellowhammer News will have a more complete story on the day’s festivities Monday morning.
Alabama’s primary election will be held on Tuesday.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: email@example.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.