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Capitol siege a ‘travesty’ compared with ‘peaceful’ racial justice protests: Ray McGuire

Max Zahn with Andy Serwer
·4 min read
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The attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump earlier this month prompted some Republican members of Congress to draw a false parallel between the mob in Washington D.C. and a wave of racial justice protests last summer.

In a new interview, Democratic New York City mayoral candidate and former Citigroup (C) vice chairman Ray McGuire rebuked such comparisons, condemning the Capitol siege as a “travesty” and lauding the “peaceful” protests that arose after the killing of George Floyd — who died when a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

“Compare the photographs,” says McGuire, who is Black.

“When you saw a peaceful protest against eight minutes and 46 seconds of a cold blooded murder,” McGuire adds. “The country came together — a collage of the great of this country from all kinds of creeds and colors and religions say we don't stand for this.”

Meanwhile, the siege of the Capitol was a violent attempt to subvert the democratic process, McGuire said.

As lawmakers assembled on Jan. 6 for a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election, a mob of Trump supporters broke into the seat of the U.S. legislature. In all, five people died during the attack and in its aftermath.

“That's a travesty against justice. That's a travesty against democracy,” McGuire says. “We should have zero tolerance for that — zero.”

In the aftermath of the Capitol attack, prominent Republican allies of Trump like House Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) misleadingly compared the rioters to racial justice protesters who held demonstrations across the country last summer.

While some isolated instances of looting attracted headlines, more than 93% of the protests held in the aftermath of the killing of Floyd were peaceful, according to a report released last September by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, which examined 7,750 Black Lives Matter demonstrations held in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Plus, an Associated Press investigation in October found that the majority of individuals arrested at the racial justice protests did not have ties to leftist organizations and some had ties to groups on the far-right.

McGuire, who joined the New York City mayoral race in December, said violent and divisive riots would not take hold if he assumes office in the fall because he plans to ensure that a broad swath of the city’s residents benefit amid its recovery from COVID-19.

“We will not tolerate that under my administration in New York City,” he says. “Everybody's going to be included in this growth, which is the only way this city is going to survive and be the greatest city on the planet going forward.”

So far, more than 30 candidates have filed to run for New York City mayor, including former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and MSNBC contributor Maya Wiley. Earlier this month, McGuire said his campaign had raised more than $5 million, putting him among the race’s top fundraisers.

Ray McGuire, a New York City mayoral candidate and former vice chairman at Citigroup, appears on "Influencers with Andy Serwer."
Ray McGuire, a New York City mayoral candidate and former vice chairman at Citigroup, appears on "Influencers with Andy Serwer."

McGuire spoke to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

McGuire entered the New York City mayoral race after 15 years at Citigroup, where he served most recently as the global head of corporate and investment banking. Before that, he climbed through the ranks in banking over stints at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

He was raised by a single mother in a modest home in Dayton, Ohio, and went on to Harvard University where he earned law and business degrees.

Speaking with Yahoo Finance, McGuire called on the U.S. Senate to convict Trump on impeachment charges he faces for allegedly inciting the riot at the Capitol.

“Anybody who creates those crimes against the U.S. government [and] against democracy? Yes,” McGuire says. “He should not ever serve in public office again, ever.”

“And anyone who supports him, we should make sure that that that we do the correct and appropriate condemnation of that,” he adds.

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