September 8, 2013

Bloomberg says mayoral candidate de Blasio's campaign is not just "class warfare," it's "racist."

This comes in a New York Magazine interview. The interviewer immediately asks the simple question "Racist?" and Bloomberg says:
Well, no, no, I mean*...
The asterisk goes to a footnote that says they've inserted these words which they can't hear on their audiotape because the mayor's office asked them to.
... he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. 
De Blasio has a black wife and mixed-race offspring, and he uses his family in photo ops and ads.
I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.
That doesn't make the campaign "racist"! He could have said "racial" or "race conscious."
But his whole campaign is that there are two different cities here. And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this “two cities” thing doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s a destructive strategy for those you want to help the most. He’s a very populist, very left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if to some extent it is, it’s one group paying for services for the other.

It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought he was a very smart guy.
And it's a shame that Bloomberg said "racist" and dragged in the man's wife and kids, because he's got an important message here — warning New Yorkers away from excessive leftism. What a gift to de Blasio!
At an appearance in Brooklyn on Saturday with his wife and their 18-year-old daughter, Chiara, Mr. de Blasio called Mr. Bloomberg’s remarks “very, very unfortunate and inappropriate.”

“I’m exceedingly proud of my family,” he added. “I hope the mayor will reconsider what he said. I hope he realizes it was inappropriate.”

In her response to the mayor’s comments about her husband’s campaign, Ms. McCray said, “Do I look like an inanimate object? Or a tool? I walk, I talk and make my own decisions.”


Anonymous said...

A white man campaigns with his white family, a black man campaigns with his black family, but a white man exploits his non white family for votes.

Only a racist would get hung up on a white man and his not so white family.

Wince said...

De Blasio has a black wife and mixed-race offspring, and he uses his family in photo ops and ads.

"I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote."

In Boston, it's a two-fer: Mom was a lesbian and dad was a Holocaust survivor.

Yet he’d be the first Jewish mayor and the first mayor whose father survived the Holocaust.

He’d also be the first mayor who grew up with a gay mother — something Suzanna London told Ross in the early 1980s, when he was a preteen and the world still treated gays as criminals: coming after their jobs, their homes, sometimes even their children...

Much has been written about Ross’ father, Stephen, rescued by American soldiers from the Dachau concentration camp. The starving teenager’s parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by Nazis.

But almost nothing has been written about the mother Ross agreed to talk about Friday in his South Boston campaign headquarters “for one reason. Because it’s who I am,” he said. “It’s where my values come from, these two amazing people with radically different lives.”
His father suffered unbearably because of religious bigotry. His mother did what most gays had to in anti-gay America. She pretended to be what she wasn’t.

“It all goes to the heart of why I am in this business,” Ross said. Boston needs more tolerance, less 
stereotyping and more diversity in city government, particularly in the police and fire department.

Paco Wové said...

This must be the issue that Ta-nehisi Coates was doing a point-and-splutter about over on The Atlantic's website this morning. I was mildly intrigued to see what he was all worked up about, but I didn't feel like gracing him with my page view.

James said...

Well, if the arguments surrounding the treatment of Palin were applied, Bloomberg would be justified in digging up dirt on De Blasio's wife and kids. After all, he cruelly injected them into the political hustle and bustle of his campaign by having them near him in public.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Weiner ran well with a similarly populist message, and it appears much of his support has transferred to de Blasio. The irony is that Quinn was doing better against the unimploded Weiner.

CatherineM said...

Have you seen the ads? I thought, what is he doing having this black boy with a huge afro testify how awesome white de Blasio is in different settings? Then at the end the boy says, "Oh yeah, and he's my dad!" That's the punch line, "I am Bill de Blasio and I have a black son!" So if anyone brought his family's racial mix to the front, it was him. He is obviously using it. That's all fine, but then don't complain that someone is saying your using race as a credential when you are.

They also love touting the fact that his wife is a former lesbian. Who cares? Can you manage this city? The fact that he's a huge fan of Dinkins is what tells me going to stink as a mayor. What color you are, what sexual orientation you have doesn't mean squat.

Forbes said...

De Blasio has used his children and wife in his political ads, so they're fair game for commentary. As much as I dislike Bloomberg, he's not the one who dragged the family into the political arena--so they're not off limits.

30yearProf said...

Every non-white politician is RACIST when he thinks it will benefit him. See Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. And every politician is ready to accuse his opponent (of whatever color or race) of RACISM whenever he thinks it will be to his advantage to do so.

It's political theater, not realism.

Real "racism" went out with Bull Connor's death. What's left is mud slinging.

Racism is gone but the CULTURAL effects of it, especially in the Black community are, in fact, being strengthened by the by the government's caretakers (protecting their jobs).

William said...

His children appear to be decent kids. So that's a plus. I don't think having a racially mixed marriage is all that rare or challenging in NYC, but the difficulty is magnified when the woman is a militant lesbian. What makes a man chase after a militant lesbian? I suppose it could be a story--right out of Jane Austen--of true love prevailing over such minor hindrances as sexual orientation. Or maybe he has a weird fetish for extreme tolerance. If only the woman had autism, his love would be complete.

TMink said...

I think that word is perfect the way he uses it. Racist means "I do not like what you are doing and you must stop it because, well, um, because RACISM!!!!!!!"

So Bloomberg has the correct usage. It is just novel that he is using it in a critique of a man who is married to a black lady, but that has nothing to do with anything once you understand what the word REALLY means.


southcentralpa said...

Boy, wouldn't this be a better country if Jesse Jackson "arrived on the scene" every once in a while, declared some ginned-up "outrage" to be "racial, sure, but not racist", defused said situation, and then flew commercial back to Chicago ...

I have a dream ...