Washington Post columnist says Republicans aren’t racist but biracial families make them nauseous

33d82_diblashio-family-election-night-16x9Apparently 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.
Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.13.50 PMKatie Halper started identifying as a feminist at the age of 5 when she attended her first pro-choice rally and began calling out the musicals she watched instead of cartoons for being “prejudiced against women.”  She realizes this is a ridiculous photo. 

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/jiminykrix/ Jesse

    Hope it’s kosher to offer a grammar correction. Please let me know if this sort of thing is not welcome (or should be handled another way) and I’ll buzz off.

    “nausea at the site of inter-racial relationships.”

    Should be “sight”

    Also, got a double space before “nausea,” should be a single space.

  • litenarata

    I didn’t think this was hard to understand. He’s saying the party itself isn’t racist, but that PARTS of it ARE. And he doesn’t owe racists an apology for calling them what they are, which is what he was doing in the passage about bi-racial families.

    • http://feministing.com/members/katiehalper/ Katie

      You think he is calling them racist for being disgusted by inter-racial relationships? The passage states: “Today’s GOP is NOT racist… 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.”

      He explicitly lists these people as NOT racist but conventional.

  • http://feministing.com/members/triumph311/ Rich

    “Washington Post columnist says Republicans aren’t racist but biracial families make them nauseous”. Your title is completely wrong… he never says that republicans are vomiting due to a biracial family. You just decided that when he said “conventional” it meant “republican”. The word conventional was not the best choice by Cohen, but you inferring something to make a “good headline” is even worse.