Council Candidate: Latino Blood is Better Than Non-Latino Blood, Which "Has Problems"
The Grand Council of Guardians, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Alliance, and the Corona branch of the NAACP will hold a press conference today at which they will discuss controversial remarks made by Eduardo Giraldo, a candidate for the 21st district city council seat in Queens.
The remarks in question can seen in the above Youtube video. If the English subtitles that appear at the bottom of the screen are accurate, the candidate seems to be putting forth some kind of strange theory about the superiority of Latino blood.
"Now what's the best blood for us Latinos? Our own blood. The blood of blacks has problems. The blood of Europeans has problems and the best blood for us Latinos is Latino blood because it has the antigens that make us different. But us Latinos don't donate blood," the translation goes....
The footage was evidently taken from an interview Giraldo did for the Queens Public Television show Al Dia Con Ramirez-Baez.
"Can you trust a man who thinks our blood has problems?" the vid asks after going dark. "Is this the man we want in office? Will he represent us, or only Latinos?"
The press release for today's "discussion" seems to brand Giraldo a racist: "The organizations in attendance believe that this type of racist rhetoric has no place in society and in particular the New York City Council."
But the thing is, in suggesting Latino blood is better for Latinos, there's a chance Giraldo was actually attempting to describe a pretty innocent concept.
Trying to promote the Latino blood drive he first put together four years ago, he may have been fumbling through expressing the fact that a good many Latinos have an especially useful blood type -- that of the universal donor. A 2007 MSNBC article explains, "It turns out that Latinos are more likely than the average American to have Type O blood, the type blood banks value most because it can be used by so many patients."
The article goes on to reveal how Type O-positive blood is also especially valuable because "If you have Type O blood, only a Type O transfusion will work for you. If you're accidentally given another type, your immune system would spot the antigens and attack."
Though Giraldo didn't seem to want to address the blood remarks directly, he offers his comments were taken out of context, and that he thinks the Youtube vid is a dirty political trick by his opponent, incumbent Julissa Ferreras, Hiram Monserrate's former chief of staff.
"I've created a blood program for Latinos," says Giraldo. "I'm trying to push the Latino community to come out and give blood. The only thing I care about is making things better."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.