It’s Cinco de Mayo, and while Mayor Mike Bloomberg is basking in (more!) endorsements from Mexican community leaders today, one of his appointees has just resigned over slurs she made against Mexicans.
In response to the swine flu outbreak, Betsy Perry, a member of Bloomberg’s prestigious Commission on Women’s Issues, wrote at the Huffington Post last week that the best thing about Mexico was the movie “Beverly Hills Chihuaha.” She also said that swine flu would be a great excuse to seal the borders.
Here’s some of her post, which now has an apology slapped up top:
Used to be the worst thing about visiting Mexico was drinking the water or tickling an ice cube in your margarita… Warned against eating anything that might have been touched by the Mexican help with hands washed in parasite infested tap water, you’d live on guacamole and Doritos even at the finest hotels.
Nowadays the best PR Mexico has is the movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” Between the guns, drugs, kidnappings and swine flu, this poor country can’t catch a break and, maybe it shouldn’t. Years ago going to Acapulco was only for the very rich who swam in private pools at the pink bungalows of Las Brisas. And the late DK Ludwig invested zillions to fly in movie stars and press for 24 hours to cover his hotel openings. Nowadays, you couldn’t pay me to go.
Perry, who used to be married to Richard Ravitch, the guy everyone wishes could save the MTA, may be sensitive to the stereotyping of women, but apparently that sensitivity hasn’t branched out to other groups.
When asked about the post, Perry sounded apologetic, and cited the pressures upon bloggers in this day and age to say something quick and funny (I guess we can relate… except that Perry isn’t a blogger. Shouldn’t she be spending her time writing about women’s issues instead of becoming the next swine flu pundit?)
Mayor Bloomberg, who — surprise — didn’t have time to read the post, told the Daily News that he had heard about it and “didn’t see the humor in it.”
But we all know Bloomberg has his own sensitivity problems. Two weeks ago he apologized to a disabled reporter he had insulted at a press conference. The reporter, Michael Harris, had a tape recorder which accidentally began playing in his coat pocket slung over his wheelchair (and therefore inaccessible to him); Bloomberg stopped the conference for two minutes and glowered at him in disdain.