On the heels of a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showing Bill de Blasio with a big lead over Christine Quinn, comes more good news for the mayoral candidate: on Thursday he won the endorsement of New York’s Hot 97 FM.
De Blasio called in for an interview early Thursday morning to answer questions about stop-and-frisk, decriminalizing marijuana and his son, Dante’s, afro.
The candidate called stop-and-frisk “lazy,” adding, “Of those who are found to have any issue with law enforcement, the most typical one is possession of a small amount of marijuana, which I think, right there, we should stop arresting people for.”
That response elicited applause and more questions from Hot 97’s Ebro who characterized the station’s audience as “definitely a weed smoking constituency.”
“Are you saying, sir, that if we put you in office we will not be going to jail for having small amounts of marijuana?” Ebro asked.
“Right now the reason people get arrested [is] it’s in their pocket, [and] that’s not illegal in small amounts. The cop says empty your pockets. When you empty your pocket and display it, it suddenly becomes illegal. That’s absolutely ludicrous,” de Blasio said.
“I want a law passed in Albany that would end it and I would instruct the NYPD right now stop arresting people for display of small amounts. It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make us safer. It just ends up giving a lot of people criminal records they don’t deserve.”
The most awkward exchange came early in the interview, and it concerned de Blasio’s son’s hairdo.
Ebro: “So, you actually have a biracial son, correct?”
De Blasio: “I have a biracial family. My wife is African American, and my son and daughter.”
Ebro: “Oh awesome. Alright, well, salute to you, sir.”
Peter Rosenberg: “You just remember his son because of the memorable afro.”
Ebro: “The afro–THE AFRO!”
Laura Stylez: “The perfect afro.”
The hair was inspired in part by Jimmy Hendrix, de Blasio said.
After de Blasio hung up, Rosenberg listed a number of reasons why he is voting for the public advocate, including “and maybe most importantly, you can’t tell me you don’t want to have [a mayor] who happens to be white but his wife is black and his kid has the most epic, non-Jewish Jew-fro of all time.”
Dante’s afro might actually be the strongest element of de Blasio’s platform. They know it too–earlier in the week, the campaign asked supporters to tweet the hashtag #GoWithTheFro to show their support.
The Daily News reports the candidate took some flack for it on Facebook, where one voter commented, “Please stop running on your son’s hair.”
Here’s the full Hot 97 interview:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 30, 2013