Quoted: De Blasio deigns to acknowledge his Black wife and children; Bloomberg says that’s racist.

Bill De Blasio, his wife Chirlane McCray, and their son Dante pose in a campaign sanctioned picture purposely poking fun at the Cheerios ad controversy. Image via Politicker.com

Then there’s Bill de Blasio, who’s become the Democratic front-runner. He has in some ways been running a class-warfare campaign—
Class-warfare and racist.

Racist? 
Well, no, no, I mean* he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. 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.

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.

[Editor’s Note from New York Magazine:*The mayor’s office asked us to amend the remarks to add an interjection that was inaudible in our audiotape of the interview, which was conducted over speakerphone. In our view the added words do not alter the meaning of the exchange as reflected in the published interview.]

– “In Conversation: Michael Bloomberg,” New York Magazine, September 9, 2013

 

After the rally, where de Blasio appeared alongside Ken Thompson, a candidate for Brooklyn District attorney, his daughter Chiara told reporters she and her mother and brother, 16-year-old Dante, participated in the campaign on their own terms. “My mom, my brother, and I are all capable of making our own decisions,” she said. “Twenty years ago, my dad did not know he was running for mayor and did not seek to marry a black woman to put on display.”

The de Blasios have appeared on the campaign trail with the candidate often, and Dante filmed an effective, much-talked-about direct-to-camera television ad earlier this year. When a reporter asked whether de Blasio has used his family as “a prop” during the campaign, McCray responded sharply. “Do I look like an inanimate object? I walk, I talk, I make my own decisions,” she said.

– “Alongside Family, De Blasio Denounces Bloomberg Comments,” Buzzfeed, September 9, 2013

  • Miche

    Was it racist for George Bush I to “flaunt” his part-Latino grandchildren? I wonder what De Blasio would say about that. Bush even referred to his grandchildren as “the brown grandchildren”.

  • justlikeoldtimes

    How did Bloomberg defy term limits again?

  • nicthommi

    So should De Blasio have found white actors to play his family until the mayoral race is over?
    But Bloomberg is a racist. We already knew that…and it’s usually the racists who want to throw the word at POC and everyone else while refusing to own their own nasty racism.
    Bloomberg is the uber-example of racism =power+privilege b/c his own money and his role as mayor has let him racially harass black and brown people in NYC with impunity while acting like they have no right to live in the city.

  • littleeva

    de Blasio did the same thing four years ago when he was running for Public Advocate(?). Every day in my mailbox there was some advertisement and it was obvious that he was saying, “Look at ME, my wife is BLACK.” I bet he didn’t put those flyers in white neighborhoods though.

    • RedlLantern

      I get mailings from politicians with pictures of their families on a regular basis. Normally those politicians are white, as are their spouses and children. Sometimes not. I have to wonder how it was OBVIOUS he was flaunting his family.

  • StickyGeranium

    This is just the next iteration of that Cheerios commercial, by people who think they are being more subtle by calling “racism!” themselves. What they are actually objecting to is a bi-racial family in politics.

    Now I’m waiting for the when the white husband is the supporter of his POC wife’s campaign, but hey, that’s not this family at the moment.

  • D. Potter

    Hmmmmm…politicians have been displaying their spouses on the campaign trail since, oh, forever, and New York politicians have had the family members smiling and looking normal since at least the elder Cuomo–no, since Geraldine Ferraro confused the media by not taking her husband’s last name–no, even before that, but de Blasio is deliberately playing the race card. Uh-huh. Right. Pull the other one. If you can find it.

    And I seem to recall many politicians talking up their ethnic or racial heritage, which is not a secret anyway, particularly if memory goes back more than twelve years.