Congregants of a historically black church in Selma, Alabama, turned their backs on Democrat presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg on Sunday as he addressed them.
The protest, which remained silent and peaceful, took place as Bloomberg was giving a speech on the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a day when police attacked black citizens during a civil rights march in the town.
Several images shared to social media on Sunday showed both black and white voters standing with their backs turned to Bloomberg in Selma’s Brown Chapel AME Church.
Multiple attendees at #BloodySunday service are turning their backs on @MikeBloomberg as he delivers his remarks and discusses his plans to defend voting rights and address the racial wealth gap. pic.twitter.com/9BzI6n5zSk
— Errin Haines (@emarvelous) March 1, 2020
According to those who attended the event, former Georgia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams sat behind Bloomberg during his speech.
Some people are standing in Brown chapel with their back turned on Bloomberg pic.twitter.com/JmqNvkZvMu
— Sam Levine (@srl) March 1, 2020
Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York City, has had a history of questionable comments surrounding America’s black community.
In 2011, during the launch of his multimillion-dollar Young Men’s Initiative, Bloomberg claimed black and Latino men “don’t know how to behave in the workplace.”
During Bloomberg’s tenure as New York City mayor, nearly five million individuals, primarily young men of color, were stop-and-frisked.
Bloomberg’s resurfaced comments on stop-and-frisk came during a 2015 speech to the Aspen Institute, where he pushed the idea of cities taking the initiative on instituting and enforcing the gun bans.
Bloomberg said of young minorities, “Throw them against the wall and frisk them,” and admitted that “we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods…. [b]ecause that’s where all the crime is.”
The Aspen Times quoted Bloomberg as saying, “Cities need to get guns out of [the]… hands” of individuals who are “male, minority, and between the ages of 15 and 25.”