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December 27, 2005

New Word You Can't Say: "Thuggishly"

More absurdity from those whose skin is so thin you wonder that you can't see their spleens:

Four days after the city's transit strike ended, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was still coming under fire for his use of the word "thuggishly" to describe the actions of the leaders of a union that is mostly minority. "Michael Bloomberg, don't be nasty and mean," attorney Norman Siegel said Monday, standing on the steps of City Hall. "Be positive. Together, we can improve race relations in New York."

The civil rights attorney noted that more than 70 percent of the Transport Workers Union's 33,000 members are "of color." And while he didn't believe Bloomberg's use of the word was in itself racist, Siegel said, "The perception out there is that it is racist. And the reaction has enormous racial overtones."

Oh, the perception.

Bloomberg used the word Dec. 20 during a briefing on the first day of the three-day strike that forced millions of riders to spend extra hours commuting. The mayor complained that union leaders had "thuggishly turned their backs on New York City and disgraced the noble concept of public service."

Some criticized him for using the word, saying it was racist in the context of a mostly minority union. A Bloomberg spokesman said it was wrong to bring race into the situation.

Siegel challenged the mayor to use the dispute over the one word as a "springboard" to focus attention on racial issues in the city — especially the fact that the mayor is surrounded by top advisers who are mostly white, and that the top managers of the Metropolitan Transit Authority that runs subways and buses also are mostly white.

Ahhh... Bloomberg says "thuggishly," so we have to direct more attention -- read "money" -- to "racial issues." Is that how it works?

Of course that's how it works. It's really too bad that Bloomberg brought race into this dispute. Unlike, say, one of the leaders of the transit strike, who compared his cause to Rosa Parks'.


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posted by Ace at 12:18 PM

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