Cathie Black is the new Joe Biden. A birth control joke by the novice Schools Chancellor at a parent-school official meeting, followed in quick succession by a Sophie’s Choice allusion, have pissed people off royally. Oh come on! The first one’s funny, at least.
At a meeting at Sheldon Silver’s office, a parent was talking about overcrowding in schools and Cathie Black was all, “Could we just have some birth control for once?” Which has definitely, definitely crossed the mind of anyone staring down a horde of Park Slope strollers, but might not be totally appropriate for a meeting with parents. Strictly speaking.
Some people are managing to construe the comment as racist, but from watching the video, it just seems like a gaffe, pure and simple.
The comparison of the Department of Education’s method of dealing with space concerns in different neighborhoods to Sophie’s Choice is a little different, I guess because it obliquely references a child dying? Anyway, everyone’s in a huff and the Department of Education even released a statement.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 15, 2011