Jamelle Bouie wrote a column in the New York Times today about Rudy Giuliani and he titled it - "Giuliani Was Always Like This." Bouie recounted the famous scene in 1992 at City Hall when Giuliani spoke to thousands of police officers rioting over African American Mayor Dinkins supporting the Civilian Review Board. Giuliani supported the police and spoke disparaging about Dinkins. This was not the only incident in which Giuliani aligned himself with racist's cops who shouted - "a n***** mayor," or "the mayor's on crack." Other incidents of Giuliani's racism were ignored. He refused to meet with African American political officials, such as NYS Comptroller Carl McCall and Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields. He spoke pejorative remarks about Al Sharpton. When Giuliani ran against Dinkins for mayor, he consistently linked Dinkins to Jesse Jackson. Barry Feinstein, the powerful president of New York’s Teamsters Local 237, told The Washington Post - “Of course, one of the most famous incidents is during the police attack on Amadou Louima, one officer yelled, "It's Giuliani Time!" Louima was allegedly sodomized with a stick while in custody in a Brooklyn station house. Cops knew something the press didn't - that Giuliani was a racist.
Then on 9/11, the press ignored Giuliani's absurd decision to place the command center at the World Trade Center. He then wandered aimlessly for two hours with his top lieutenants to find a place to put his command center. The firefighters on 9/11 had Rudy's measure. When he briefly ran for president, the NYC firefights followed him from speech to speech shouting - "Where were the radios, Rudy? Where were the radios?" This is in reference to NYC firefighters who had requested far in advance of 9/11 to be provided with modern radios so that they could hear different frequencies and be in touch with other services such as the police. Many firefighters did not hear the commands to leave the WTC and died when the towers collapsed. Giuliani had refused to purchase modern radios.
These earlier reports about Giuliani were forgotten when Giuliani was proclaimed by the press as "the nation's mayor" because of his reported conduct on 9/11. Bouie is quite right - Giuliani was always like this.