Politics

Novelist Junot Diaz Endorses Bill de Blasio, Condemns Bloomberg’s “Racist” Comments

An ad for the city’s largest union. “When Bloomberg looks at a photograph of de Blasio’s family, he thinks racism. Me, I just think New York,” the Oscar Wao author says.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Leonardo Cendamo

 

In a radio ad set to air during the final two days of the New York City primary, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz endorses Bill de Blasio and takes aim at Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Diaz, a Dominican-American novelist and member of a number of New York City activist groups, recorded the ad for the city’s largest union, 1199 SEIU. The 60-second spot will air starting Monday morning on the top five English-language stations in the city, according to a spokesman with the health care workers union, which endorsed de Blasio in May.

The Diaz spot joins two other radio ads — one featuring Russell Simmons, and the other John Leguizamo — already airing in support of de Blasio, who is leading his Democratic rivals by more than 10 points in the polls ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

In the ad, Diaz responds directly to comments Bloomberg made in an interview with New York Magazine, published Saturday morning. Citing the way in which de Blasio has prominently featured his wife, who is black, and his two teenage children, Bloomberg called the frontrunner’s campaign “class warfare and racist.”

“Mayor Bloomberg seems to think that showing up in a photo with your black wife is ‘racist,’” Diaz says.

“Bloomberg can keep hunting for billionaires,” the ad continues. “Me, I’m backing de Blasio for the next mayor. De Blasio intends to forge a new covenant for our city — one that prizes democracy over privilege, justice over inequality, and makes the problems of immigrant families no less important than the problems of billionaires.”

“When Bloomberg looks at a photograph of de Blasio’s family, he thinks racism. Me, I just think New York,” Diaz says.

The author has endorsed assembly and congressional candidates in the past, but the ad marks his first major comments on the New York City mayoral race.

Author Junot Diaz endorses Bill de Blasio and condemns comments made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a radio ad for the health care workers union, 1199 SEIU. w.soundcloud.com

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Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact this reporter at ruby.cramer@buzzfeed.com
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