Unfortunately there’s a point in a person’s life, usually at about the time advanced age hits, when they start blurting out completely inappropriate phrases. It’s usually your grandma: “This food is awful!” in front of waitstaff; “When are you having babies?” in front of a guy you’ve dated for, oh, I don’t know six months; “I haven’t been able to control my bowels since my gallbladder was removed!” in front of… everyone. Generally one stays quiet and takes the humiliation by proximity in stride. But when old people start spewing racist BS, that’s when it’s time to speak up. Former Mayor and oft Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has turned out to be one of those old people.
On Wednesday Politico reported the former Mayor of New York City made some unsavory remarks about President Obama at a Scott Walker fundraising event in Manhattan which, like, isn’t totally surprising. “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani told guests at the private event. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
Ok, so commenting on the President’s upbringing in this manner certainly implies that something about his childhood and parental situation was unusual and Un-American, whatever the hell that means. Let’s just call this thinly veiled racism and xenophobia. But the real grossness came bubbling forth from Giuliani’s gaping hole when he tried to defend his remarks in an interview with the New York Times:
“Some people thought it was racist—I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”
So don’t worry, he wasn’t targeting Obama for being black. No, in Giuliani’s world if you’re raised by a white mother, then you’re not black. Aside from his remarks making absolutely no sense (anti-colonialism, what?) Giuliani relied on a classic defense of prejudice: implying that his statements couldn’t possibly have been aimed at singling out a person of color for their unusual upbringing, because that person qualifies as “white enough.”
At the very least, Giuliani has revealed himself to be xenophobic by implying that Obama’s heritage or upbringing didn’t involve conditioning to be blindly adherent to some ugly nationalist ideal. “I want an American president to raise our spirits again, like a Ronald Reagan,” Giuliani said in the Times interview.
Giuliani’s latest remarks follow his controversial (and above all inaccurate) comments he made on Meet the Press back in November when he claimed that “93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks,” he added later on in the program that “white police officers won’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70 percent of the time.” Cringe worthy stuff it was, and outrage followed.
As horrible and dangerous as all of these statements are, one good thing can be gleaned from it all: in light of all the critical backlash against him and widespread acknowledgement that the former Mayor holds some seriously gross prejudices, at least Giuliani’s political career is as good as dead.