Monday, September 9, 2013
Rant #1,037: Race Card
The New York City mayor's race has turned into one of the most colorful political races in recent memory, and there are so many facets of it that this Long Island guy--who is not directly impacted by what happens--finds the whole thing pretty fascinating.
On the Democratic side, you have an out lesbian, a guy who was caught with his pants down, and several other interesting side stories to keep even the most apolitical person occupied.
On the Republican side, you have basically two candidates who don't have a chance to win, but there has to be a Republican candidate. They are as interesting as yesterday's toilet paper.
So back to the Democrats.
The latest volley actually was hurled by the lame duck mayor, Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire who is usually so out of touch with his constituents that he can constantly put his foot in his mouth and come out shining as clean as a sanitary wipe.
This time, however, what he said was right, and it took a lot of guts to say what he said.
On a local radio show, Bloomberg blasted the Republican front-runner, Bill deBlasio, for basically using the race card in his bid to succeed him.
Although a long-time political person, the city's public advocate, nobody really had ever heard of this guy before he ran for mayor, and the interest in the public about him was pretty much nil.
That is, of course, until he pulled the race card, demonstrating that whites can use this to their advantage as much as blacks can, given the right circumstances.
With him badly trailing in the polls some weeks ago to the likes of Christine Quinn, the outed lesbian who was Bloomberg's unofficial choice to take over his post, de Blasio did something that was a mix of genius and racist, if you can believe that the two can mix.
He profiled his family in his most recent ads.
That, in itself, is all fine and good, but people were shocked at the ads and who was featured in them.
de Blasio is the father in a mixed race household, and seemingly the public did not know that his family, his wife was black, and his daughter and his son were of mixed race.
In fact, his son sports an afro that Julius Erving would have been envious of back in the 1970s.
When this came to the fore, people began to notice de Blasio, and he shot to the top of the Democratic polls, which means if this continues, he IS the next mayor of New York.
And on the radio show, Bloomberg called it like it is. He said that de Blasio used the race card to get support, and he couldn't have been more right, even though everybody is blasting him, as they refuse to recognize the truth.
If de Blasio's family were lily white, nothing would have changed. However, since they are a family of color, in New York at least, voters find that quite interesting.
There are actually black candidates on the Democratic side. Bill Thompson is being killed by this situation, and is running third in the polls.
New York City, as liberal a city as there is, sees de Blasio and his family as the perfect mix that they want, one that fits the profile of the changing city. Quinn is still thought to be threatening by many, and Thompson is, well, as whitebread as he is black.
No one says that de Blasio fell in love with a black woman and had a family with her to win this race, but don't tell me that his family's racial makeup did not perk of the ears of many New Yorkers.
So the race card has been used, and Bloomberg--who honestly has nothing to lose by saying what he said--for once calls it like it is.
Sad to say he is right. People will vote for de Blasio based on the color of his family's skin, not on what he has to say, which isn't much different from what Quinn, Thompson, or for that matter, Anthony Weiner has to say.
That is both an indictment of voters in New York City and the entire political process there.
Marketing is everything, and his ads have become incredibly effective in pushing that facet on the voters of New York.
Remember, New York City voters voted in Bloomberg--perhaps the most hated New York City mayor ever because of his elitist attitude--THREE times.
Something must be in the water there, and I am so happy that I can watch this from afar.
What a mess, a mess of all different hues and colors.
Posted by Larry at 2:40 AM