Bloomberg Businessweek’s Racist Cover

by Evette Dionne


Bloomberg Businessweek tried it. The lucrative brainchild of New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, released its latest issue with a cartoon illustration cover depicting stereotypical black folks “rolling in the dough.”

We’ve been reduced to caricatures on the cover of one of the most circulated weekly business magazines. Even the subhead is disrespectful. “Flips. No-look bids. 300 percent returns. What could possibly go wrong?”

So minorities are responsible for the current housing bubble and we’re participating in flipping, which Housing Wire points out, is fraud? Fraudulent minorities are benefitting from an uptick in the housing market. How kosher.

I’m still puzzled as to how this cover made it through the editorial process without someone mentioning its racist undertones. It reminds us all of the importance of diversity in media. A minority designer or senior editor could’ve lifted the red flag on this cover before it was chosen.

Josh Tyrangiel, Bloomberg Businessweek’s editor-in-chief has apologized for how the cover was received.  “Our cover illustration got strong reactions, which we regret,” he said in a statement. “If we had to do it over again, we’d do it differently.”

Bloomberg Businessweek should’ve done it right the first time.

  • gmarie

    Seriously? Every person in that Illustration looks black to you?

  • Nila

    I think the cover is hysterical – I mean it depicts what everyone knows to be the truth but nobody has the audacity to be that blatant about it. Until now…

  • Bree

    “Cartoon illustration cover depicting stereotypical black folks “rolling in the dough”.. while white are out working hard. This reminds me of the Reconstruction era posters depicting lazy shiftless negroes juxtaposed with whites plowing land and chopping wood. This is that propoganda all over again.

  • angel

    That cover is ignorant racist trash.
    People from all walks of life benefitted and contributed to the downfall of the housing market. Not just minorities. Not by a long shot. No one benefitted more or did more underhanded things than big banks and their underlings. You need to educate yourself Nila. I normally don’t take comments personally but your comment just took me there.

  • Lexie

    Agreed this cover should of never made it through to production but we all know that minorities were a high percentage of those people behind the housing debacle. Taking out mortgages they couldn’t afford. Be real ya’ll.

  • Kam

    What is this “truth” that “everyone” knows?

  • Kam

    They took out mortgages that they believed they could afford, based on the bank’s recommendation. It also has been shown that subprime mortgates where disproportionately pushed to poor and minority homeowners. But most of the people in the housing trouble were not minorities.

  • onegirl

    I don’t really understand the cover. I certainly don’t know one black person who has flipped a house, and I definitely haven’t found anyone who is flipping them and making 300% returns. Maybe in the mid to late 2000s this was happening, but not anymore. I guess if they are rolling in the dough, they are hiding. *shrug*

  • Tonton Michel

    This was intentional, no way they didn’t get the idea behind this when it came across their desk.

  • dirtychai

    Exactly. I hate when people fabricate an image to justify their own bigoted ideas.

  • cb

    this is what happens when a black man is the President of the United States of America…it will only get worse! get ready

  • Catpopstar

    The only time we get recognized is when they need to blame something on us. geeze.

  • Apple

    Sometimes white people are so stupid they don’t know how stupid they are

  • onegirl

    The picture doesn’t match the caption. What is the idea behind it? Maybe I’m too simple-minded to understand, so please explain it to me.

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  • binks

    WTF??? I honestly don’t get it or the direction they were going…smh

  • Daijana

    1. Come on,this is really what people believe minorities are like or is this just the off brand presentation from a privileged person who has never really met any. 2. Where the hells all this money I’m apparently flipping houses for?

  • Ronald McFadden

    This is nothing to be alarmed by… check the source… there is no smoke and mirrors… it is what it is… when you give your power away, this is result you achieve… disrespect, radical caricatures and misrepresentations… economics does have it’s power, believe that!

  • AJW

    White people’s thinking:
    “Let’s blame the blacks for global warming.”
    “Let’s blame the blacks for the economic downturn.”
    “Let’s blame the blacks for our indigestion.”
    “Let’s blame the blacks for our flat tires.” WHAA, WHAA, WHAA! STHU white people & go practice making your fake arsed white tears somewhere.

  • xikimikix

    This is one of the most ridiculous covers I have ever seen. When this came into the office, I had to know what the article was saying because I am pretty certain we don’t have an entire minority to blame for any housing crisis. The article doesn’t even have any relevance to the cover, not to mention the degree to which this cover takes its racism. ITS DISGUSTING.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Small note:

    The author of the illustration is Latino.

  • Anthony

    Michael Bloomberg is worth $24,000,000,000 depending on the day’s market returns. I am sure he has made a 300% return a few times himself. Why is it a crime when some black person finally works the financial system? I guess he wants to stop and frisk our bank accounts too.

  • Posh Miss

    I am just wondering who edits this stuff before it goes to print. There was not one black person who saw this before it went to the printers? Come on America the country is only 14% African American, so a better depiction would have been to have the leg of one of these individuals painted brown.

    The depiction of America is slighted and this is in bad taste.

  • jamesfrmphilly


  • Nila

    Wow! White people are so stupid? Because only white people work at Bloomberg. Only white people have the power to dictate how black people are depicted. Black people don’t respect each other so how on earth do you expect other races to respect you. You guys are the first to diss each other and call each other names. But yeah white people are to blame for everything. Keep blaming them! It seems to be working for your community so far.

  • Val

    “…It reminds us all of the importance of diversity in media.”

    The thing about that is if there are only one of two Black people in a department or company they may not even speak up. Lot’s of Black people in the media join in with the group think of their peers and just go along to get along.

    I think it takes more than just a couple of Black people to make a difference. Once the numbers grow and people feel more secure then they will speak up. Until then this kind of thing will happen over and over.

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  • The Other Jess

    Why New Yorkers ever elected that idiot for mayor is beyond me. It’s not saying much about the intelligence level of that city’s residents. smdh.

  • WhatIThink

    Housing bubbles have been part of the American landscape since there has been a housing market and ultimately they ALWAYS are a result of the ponzi schemes of the banks and speculative pricing of the real estate developers. The fact is that all of these SCAMS in lending have hurt the black community and again go back to the true perpetrators of this crisis: the banks. But of course Businessweek knows this and true to American tradition, they love to use black folks (the victims of these scams) as the scapegoats.

    Flips, No Look bids and 300 percent returns are terms coined by the banks and real estate agents to entice folks into shady predatory loans that ultimately take money FROM people.


    But truth be told this has been coming for a while. Black folks have allowed themselves to become the coons of the party and now the chickens are coming home to roost. IE. don’t take black folks seriously. The civil rights bubble has burst, they have had a black president and no longer do we need to keep them at arms length. If they haven’t progressed by this time it is their fault so screw them will be the new image shown to the world.

  • LorriK

    I stared at the cover thinking what in the hell were they thinking. I’m so tired of the negative depictions and even more disgusted by the fact magazine editors think they can continue to get away with this mess.

  • Ms. Information

    Nila go to hell. Someone as elitist and ridiculous as you should not even be here. You said it yourself. WHITES control how we are depicted. So they show what they want to show. You hate-filled wench.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Everyone: I can’t say I know why my comment has been thumbed down, especially since no one left an explanation as to why they disagree with what I said.

    The author of the illustration is Latino. His name is Andres Guzman. The point I was making is that it is just not White people who view Blacks negatively.

  • Ms. Information

    The funny thing is that for the whole time I’ve been alive they have said that black people only make up 12% of the population…so you mean to tell me that less than 12% (many blacks still don’t own homes) of a population is responsible for this housing crisis? GTFOH with that.

  • Nila

    LOL! Elitist? Oh no! Not I! I am simply someone who works hard and respects others who do the same. I find it interesting that all you guys ever do is complain and blame everyone for the way things are. But what are you doing to change things? Are more of you getting educated? Power comes from knowledge and using it to your advantage. Don’t you all get tired pointing fingers at everybody else except yourselves?

  • Barbara

    @Moon in the sky. Thanks for your post.

    When I saw your comment that the person was Latino, I thought to myself “Clarence Thomas.” On the last time around, wasn’t Clarence Thomas the “only” Supreme Court Just to vote against renewing the Voting Act? Did the Whites deliberately put him on the Court because they knew hewas the type Black person reliably to be anti-Black? So, it’s really the Whites who are doing it; but they use a Blak face to “cover” for them.

    I use this same analysis for the Latino who drew this cover fo Bloomberg Businessweek. The racist cover says what they want to say and sends the message they want, whether the inside story says anything or not that’s racist.

    That’s my take on it.

  • Tonton Michel


    I had an idea on what you meant, but you knoe how it goes if your not specfic on the net people will misreaad you. It was an open door for people to project their own thoughts. It could have been read as you defending whites, it could be looked at as you undermining the subject, dismissing the topic, or just pissed off a bunch of Latinos who don’t want to hear the truth.

  • Ange B

    I don’t think Newsweek would have done the cover differently at all. If they had then they wouldn’t even entertain this cover as a possibility in the first place.

  • The Commnet

    Thank you. Economist demonstrated that there are not enough blacks owning homes to even inflate the bubble that popped us all to hell. Not that blacks don’t own homes but that those who were given sub-prime loans account for less than 3% of 80% of the bad loans.

  • The Commnet

    UH!!! Ms. Be Real….Sure…according to Rush dumbo and them….but facts state that those dentist,lawyers and other non-descript, non intimidating white/asian/mexican/ made up 97% of the bubble.

  • The Commnet

    I understand the cover. All the racist have come home to roost. There was a time that Time, The Economist, Newsweek, and other publications seemed to report unbiased newsworthy stories.

    But now that everyone’s bottom line is suffering; THE WHITE MANS ECONOMY IS CRUMBLING—-GLOBALLY—- they rely on the basic’s of human survival which is too create a boogie man.

    And because our image has suffered a tremendous blow; rap/ sagging jeans/ trashy tv shows—anything black is deemed evil.

    We are the perfect target.

    Come on…where in the hell is anyone making a 300% return on anything in America…

    Who is making 500% on returns is Pillsbury, FritoLay, Kraft, Koch brothers and Rove……

    Seems that chit is really about to hit the fan this year.

  • The Commnet

    and….and…….*gasp 4 air* just because the illustrator is not white does not magically make it not racist.

  • jeni

    I can’t believe that this cover is real. Racist. Bloomberg should personally apologize and fire the multiple editors who saw this and sent it to print.

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