The New York Post claims that Bill de Blasio's use of photographs of his interracial family in his campaign mailings for the public advocate's job amounts to pandering to black voters. Frankly, I was delighted to see the photographs of the Brooklyn City Councilman's family.
With his wife, Chirlane, an attractive, dark-skinned black woman who wears her hair in natural braids, and his children, Dante and Chiara, who are clearly biracial, the de Blasios are the picture of an attractive and apparently happy family. Leave it to the Post to lend credence to claims by City Councilman Charles Barron that the photographs are designed to pander to black voters, and that they were mailed only to voters in predominantly black sections of the city, while voters in predominantly white areas received mailings with no photos or photos of the candidate only.
DeBlasio's press secretary's told me the family photos were sent out citywide and were not intended to appeal to just black voters or other voters of color. They were sent out because, as de Blasio told WNYC interviewer Brian Lehrer, "I'm showing my family, and I'm showing my family to all communities because that is who I am."
The Post story is a shoddy piece of reporting which quotes only Barron and two anonymous sources who reportedly claim that black women are complaining about the campaign flier in which Chirlane de Blasio says of her husband "He gets it," because it suggests that de Blasio understands black residents' concerns simply because he's married to a black woman. The article also claims that "many politicians," including Brooklyn councilman Al Vann, were annoyed by the ads. Vann, however, denied that he had a problem with the ads.
Knowing the quality of reporting at the Post, I wouldn't be surprised if Barron is one of the two anonymous sources, and that he is the only black politician who has expressed concern over the ads. Barron is an inveterate race-baiter, who a few years ago pushed to have a Brooklyn street renamed in honor of the late race-baiting, Mau-mauing black activist Sonny Carson, and who once hosted a City Hall reception for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose corruption and oppressive policies have driven that country to ruin. Meanwhile, if the Post's other source doesn't have the guts to identify himself or herself, that just shows how un-credible they are.
It's customary for politicians to run ads featuring their families. So why shouldn't de Blasio feature his? They're certainly attractive, and if the fact that they're black and bi-racial wins him points in the black community and any other community in the city, so what? When I was a columnist for Newsday I interviewed de Blasio on several occasions, without knowing the race of his wife and children. When I saw the campaign photos, I was frankly delighted. His wife looks adorable, his children attractive, and aware as I am of the dearth of suitable mates for black women in this country, I'm always thrilled to run across a successful man who's attracted to black women. Since most of the five candidates for the public advocate's job are more or less qualified for the job, I have to admit this fact makes me think more favorably of de Blasio's candidacy.