Well, we already how racist he is. At least, according to Bloomberg’s increasingly erratic exit interviews. So of course it makes sense that on the same day they publish tenuous evidence that a city without stop-and-frisk is a city where all of us will die in a hail of gunfire (and on the same day the Daily News reports on New York’s ever-widening income gap, by far the largest in the nation), the Post decided to take on Bill de Blasio for a so-called “war on minorities.”
And I mean, fair enough! He has been spending all that time on the campaign trail espousing a strict white power agenda and chattering away about cutting important social safety nets, like paid sick days and minimum wage! Or, wait. I guess what he’s been talking about are things like ending unconstitutional racial profiling of New York’s citizens, supporting public schools and broadening early education, and making sure employed New Yorkers are actually earning enough to live on. Whatever. Here’s the Post:
“De Blasio clinched the Democratic primary for mayor in large part by promoting his inter-racial family and, notably, his son’s prominent Afro. His “two cities” mantra is meant to suggest he’ll fight for the have-nots — minorities. In a new poll, African-Americans say they back him over Republican nominee Joe Lhota by a whopping 86 percent to 3 percent — that is, near-unanimously.
Yet de Blasio’s positions on all the key issues — crime, jobs, education — will hit minorities hard. At the same time, despite his attacks on the “1 percent,” he’ll leave wealthy New Yorkers relatively unscathed.
Putting aside the assumption that de Blasio has been coldly employing his own family as a calculated promotional tool (as opposed to just bringing his family to events like every other political candidate for every other political office), the op-ed goes on to re-frame all his pet issues as patently anti-minority: the end of stop-and-frisk means “hamstrung cops” and “to put it bluntly, more dead blacks and Hispanics;” fewer charter schools mean minority “kids will remain imprisoned in rotten traditional schools;” plans for paid sick days and living wage laws will “price out” employees and encourage companies to move operations out of one of the biggest, most crucial business hubs on the entire planet. “Kids like de Blasio’s son Dante (or, rather, kids like Dante whose dads aren’t powerful) will be hurt most,” writes the Post.
In other words, a lot of magical thinking about trickle-down economics, and general concern trolling of minority voters who clearly aren’t educated enough on the issues to even know how to vote in their own interests. Which, to be fair, is sort of representative of the current ideological chasm between mainstream conservative and liberal policy thinking, albeit re-framed in feverish, New York Post-y terms. Now that the democratic primary is behind us, this conversation was sort of inevitable. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could get through it without starting hysterical “wars,” and calling each other racists? Just a thought.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.