Apparently Republicans aren’t racist. But the biracial family of future NYC mayor Bill de Blasio makes them want to vomit.
First Mike Bloomberg told us that Bill de Blasio was racist because he had a biracial family he didn’t keep locked up in a basement. Now, Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen informs us that de Blasio’s family disgusts conventional people, who are not racist:
Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.
First of all, it’s not clear what the hell Cohen is talking about. This reads more like a stream-of-consciousness-writing-without-lifting-your-pen-or-realizing-you’re-a-racism-apologist exercise than it does a column… meant for publication. But let’s try to break it down. Cohen is saying
- Harry Belafonte called the tea party racist.
- The Republican Party, however, is not racist.
- They just don’t like things like the government or the avant guard.
- The totally non-racist Republican Party is made up of conventional people who are nauseated by inter-racial marriage.
Here’s the thing. There are people who have visceral reactions to inter-racial marriage and relationships. And those people are racist. And it’s fine to write about these people. It’s just not cool to call them conventional. And when you are trying to prove that a group of people are not racist, you may want to not use evidence like nausea at the sight of interracial relationships.
What is still unclear, though, is what Cohen is saying about Harry Belafonte and the relationship between the tea party and the Republican Party. Is Cohen saying that while the tea party is racist, the Republican Party, which is distinct, is not? That Belafonte was right about the tea party? Is he saying that the Republican Party and the tea party are the same thing? And Belafonte was wrong to call them racist? I’m pretty sure Harry Belafonte’s racism-dar is more fine tuned than Cohen’s. Either way, I’m pretty sure Mr. Cohen owes Mr. Belafonte and Mr. de Blasio, and his entire family, and all bi-racial families, and all of New York City an apology.
First published on Feministing