Response to the NY Democratic Party’s white, white Governor ticket

KW: A post from Capitol Confidential, and then my comments on the situation…

Diaz on Duffy: Hey, Hispanics were let down, too
Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 4:51 PM by Casey Seiler in 2010 Governor Election

Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. wants Andrew Cuomo to know that Hispanics expect equal condolences after the gubernatorial candidate’s decision to name Robert Duffy as his LG pick. His release, which closes with the specter of “political and militant boycotts” (against whom?):

“I am glad to hear that our future Governor, Andrew Cuomo has called Rev. Al Sharpton to apologize for not choosing a person of color on his ballot for Governor.

At the same time, it worries me that Andrew Cuomo did not take the same opportunity and show a little respect and appreciation to the Hispanic community…”

In the comments section of the article, I posted the following:

I think that Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.’s take on the diversity situation reveals many profound problems in the political system.

Sen. Diaz’s premise seems to be, that what is due to a whole community when they are disrespected or overlooked, is not a message or service to the community, but one call to a high-profile leader of that community. That attitude is part of the whole gentlemen’s agreement that makes our system so patriarchal, corrupt, and harmful.

The fact that someone thinks Al Sharpton can accept an apology on behalf of the whole African-American community in NY, or that Sen. Diaz or someone like him could accept an apology on behalf of the whole hispanic community, is ridiculous. And, not just ridiculous, but harmful to the rest of the community who can be so easily overlooked or bought out with some flattery to one of their leaders.

In addition, Sen. Diaz’s premise is that the Democratic party owes things to two main, minority constituents, the African American community and the Hispanic community. What about women? Women are still a minority in the power circles of politics. And, it would have been nice to have a woman on the Democratic Ticket for Governor/Lt. Governor as well.

Another important point is that Sen. Ruben Diaz’s comments trivialize the nature of racial politics. It is probably a fact that regular people and regular voters will overall, in a kind of group psychology factor, wish and tend to vote for people who look like them.

Still, one would hope that the leaders in politics would be wise enough to remember and to point out to people, that it is more important to have representatives in a Democracy who support the rights of a particular group, than to have someone who looks like a particular group.

I would have preferred to see Sen. Diaz use this teachable moment to reflect on Andrew Cuomo’s service or lack of service to the two communities mentioned, rather than do a roll call on how many people of what color he hangs out with or appoints.

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