If you think Jefferson Beauregard Sessions has been a disaster as U.S. Attorney General, how about Rudy Giuliani? When it is a match up between the Alabama senator-turned-America’s top prosecutor on the one hand, and the former New York City mayor on the other, one is hard pressed to choose sides.
One thing is certain, however: Giuliani would be a disaster for those who love justice.
Trump is floating the idea of replacing Sessions with Giuliani, who served as an adviser and surrogate for Trump during the presidential campaign.
When Trump wanted to put together a Muslim ban, Giuliani recounted, the president turned to him to find a way to do it legally. Giuliani’s reasoning was that when you want to discriminate against Muslims as a group, you should do so based not on religion, but on facts, the fact that they’re dangerous. He also believes Muslims on the terror watch list should be monitored with special GPS bracelets.
And don’t forget Giuliani’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, where he seemed on the verge of spontaneous combustion, and was in a running competition with the likes of Sheriff David Clarke for caustic, unhinged rhetoric as raw meat for the base. In the “last days” apocalyptic speech of Rudolph Giuliani, enemies were lurking around every corner. “You know who you are and we’re coming to get you!” he promised.
“It’s time to make America safe again. It’s time to make America one again,” he said to the crowd in Cleveland. “I know it can be done because I did it by changing New York City from ‘the crime capital of America’ to according to the FBI the safest large city in America. What I did for New York City, Donald Trump will do for America.”
And what did he do for New York between 1994 and 2001? The beneficiary of goodwill and positive press exposure that painted him as a conciliatory leader following 9/11–“America’s mayor,” in effect–Giuliani ran the Big Apple like a police state as far as Blacks and Latinos were concerned. The cops ran roughshod over the rights of the people like a gang. “Stop-and-frisk” and “broken windows” policing led to the random monitoring, targeting and harassment of people of color.
This was the case particularly for thousands of young Black and Latino men who were stopped on the street, roughed up and arrested, often resulting in police brutality. Trump attributed the drop in crime in New York to Giuliani’s stop-and-frisk policy, which he hopes to emulate on the national level, with the Fraternal Order of Police urging a lifting of the Bush-era ban on federal racial profiling.
In 1992, he led and addressed a drunken, racist riot of 10,000 cops, in which participants called then-Mayor David Dinkins a n*gger and held signs depicting him as a bathroom attendant.
During the Giuliani era, countless people were lost to police violence. Then-Mayor Giuliani encouraged an environment in which police had free rein to shoot Amadou Diallo 41 times, and torture and sodomize Abner Louima in the bathroom of a Brooklyn precinct. Retired NYPD detective Patrick Brosnan, the head of Giuliani’s security team during the 1993 mayoral campaign, was part of a mob of drunk off-duty officers who beat a Black officer and a Latino officer in 1991. One of the officers was beaten so badly with a nightstick that he suffered brain damage and an IQ of 79. Brosnan was also involved in the 1995 shooting deaths of Anthony Rosario, 18, and Hilton Vega, 21, who were killed, face down, in a barrage of 28 bullets. The city settled with the victims’ families for $1.1 million, and Brosnan was given a disability pension after claiming hearing loss after the killings.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Giuliani engaged in wholesale race-baiting, and questioned President Barack Obama’s patriotism. “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said at the 21 Club in midtown Manhattan in February 2015. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
Last year, Giuliani had choice words for Black Lives Matter, calling the movement “inherently racist” because “it divides us.”
“I believe I saved a lot more black lives than Black Lives Matter. I don’t see what Black Lives Matter is doing for blacks other than isolating them,” he said on Fox News, also claiming he had “saved more Black lives” than Beyoncé.
There are no good options with the Trump administration. Besides Giuliani, Trump is also reportedly considering Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) for U.S. Attorney General. Cruz said Black Lives Matter is “literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers.”
“If you look at the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the most disturbing things is more than one of their protests have embraced rabid rhetoric, rabid anti-police language, literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers,” Cruz told ThinkProgress. “That is disgraceful.”
With Donald Trump, we just can’t win, no matter what. With Rudy Giuliani in charge of the Justice Department, we’d lose bigly.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.