Bloomberg: ‘My story might have turned out very differently if I had been black’
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg will acknowledge that being white has likely helped his success in a speech Sunday in Oklahoma outlining a plan to address racial inequality.
“As someone who has been very lucky in life, I often say my story would only have been possible in America, and that’s true,” Bloomberg is expected to say, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.
“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.”
In Bloomberg’s speech, just one day before Martin Luther King Day, the former New York City mayor will unveil his “Greenwood initiative.” The proposal is aimed at increasing the number of black-owned homes and businesses.
The plan includes a $70 billion investment in the nation’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Bloomberg will give his speech in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Okla., which was once known at “Black Wall Street” and was home to more than 300 African American-owned businesses. It was destroyed in 1921 by a mom of white residents and killed at least 200 people.
Bloomberg will highlight how the massacre in Tulsa “demonstrates in incredibly stark relief, the violent destruction of a prosperous black community, and the enormous obstacles that so many black Americans have faced” in creating wealth and passing down assets “as generations of white families have done,” according to the prepared remarks.
Bloomberg’s plan includes setting up “user-friendly one-stop shops” for entrepreneurs across the country.
He’s also pledging to commit $70 billion in funding and technical support to 100 of the most disadvantaged communities across the U.S.
Bloomberg’s record on race has, in part, been defined by the “stop and frisk” policing he allowed as mayor of New York City. He apologized for the policy before announcing his presidential run late last year.