Only in the idiocy-charged atmosphere of today’s identity politics would the question in this blog’s title be asked. But that is where we are now, so there it is.
Michael Bloomberg, in mentioning Cory Booker, the Democrat Senator running for President, commented that:
“Cory Booker endorsed me a number of times, and I endorsed Cory Booker a number of times. He’s very well spoken, he’s got some good ideas.”
If someone pointed out they had supported you in the past, that you were well spoken and had some good ideas, would you be insulted? Would you expect an apology?
Well, Bloomberg, was immediately set upon by the POPPO (Professionally Oppressed, Perpetually Pissed Off) crowd, and called a racist.
See, there are people who believe that a Black man, like Cory Booker, is “articulate” if he is capable of putting together simple sentences and conjugating the verb “to be”. Therefore, in calling him “articulate” Michael Bloomberg must be one of them.
The fact that the context of what he said makes it 100% obvious that this not in any way, shape, manner or form what he meant? That his intent was clearly positive, even deferential? Who cares? It’s an opportunity for racial aggrievement.
But Cory Booker, being a member in good standing of the POPPO crowd, would never let an opportunity like this fall by the wayside. So he answered with:
“It’s sort of stunning at times that we are still revisiting these sort of tired tropes or the language we have out there that I don’t think folks understand. “The fact that they don’t understand is problematic.”
In other words, Michael Bloomberg – who, let’s again remember, endorsed Cory Booker when he ran for Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and the United States Senate – is just a hopeless racist. Maybe he doesn’t mean to be, but it’s in that White DNA of his; he just doesn’t understand.
So Bloomberg, who certainly knows that, to have any chance at winning the presidency as a Democrat, he must generate massive support and high turnout among Black voters – and who already is on tenuous ground with Black voters for his 12 years of aggressively employing “stop and frisk” while Mayor of New York City – did not defend himself. Instead, he went into an insincere apology/cheap pander mode, saying:
“I probably shouldn’t have used the word, but I could just tell you he is a friend of mine. He is a Rhodes Scholar, which is much more impressive than my academic background. I envy him.”
Nice going, Mike. Yep, everyone believes you think of yourself as inferior to Cory Booker. Honest.
Personally, I find this exchange ugly and dispiriting.
Bloomberg didn’t mean anything racist by what he said about Booker. Booker, in my opinion, knows that damn well but, being the political opportunist he is, used Bloomberg’s complimentary assessment to score the cheapest of cheap racial points. And Bloomberg, left with the choice of defending himself or kissing Booker’s backside, went into mega-pucker mode.
Welcome to the world of identity politics. I hope you like it. Because, at least for now, it’s going to dominate at least one of our political parties.