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Tipsheet

Ouch: Bloomberg Gets Snubbed During 'Bloody Sunday' Commemoration

AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File

The historic Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama on Sunday held a service before the annual march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate "Bloody Sunday," the day when white police officers beat black marchers in 1965.

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When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the stage to address the congregation, he discussed civil rights and voter suppression. According to CBS News, about 10 minutes into his speech, churchgoers stood up and silently turned their back to Bloomberg. They remained standing with their back to him for the remainder of his speech.

The church served as a meeting place for civil rights protestors in the 1960s. The church's pastor, Reverend Leodis Strong, said Bloomberg initially turned down the invite, citing other campaign obligations.

"I think that it's important for Mr. Bloomberg, Mayor Bloomberg, to hear from you, listen to you, to learn from you," Strong told his congregation.

"Let me just say this. I think it's important that he came," Strong said about Bloomberg's change in heart. "And it shows a willingness on his part to change. And I like that, and I think that that is important."

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Interestingly enough, Bloomberg's seat was in the first pew. Former Vice President Joe Biden was seated next to Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Stacey Abrams and Reverand Al Sharpton.

Reuters' Joseph Ax talked with one of the churchgoers, Lisa Brown, who protested Bloomberg's speech. She took issue with Bloomberg attempting to buy the black vote.

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Alabamans will cast their primary votes on Super Tuesday, when 14 states are up for grabs. 

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