Former Mayor David Dinkins was in rare form at an endorsement press conference for state Senate candidate Adriano Espaillat, telling reporters:
I grew up in Harlem where we taught that New York City is a melting pot. Well I don’t agree with that. I have always said that we are a gorgeous mosaic. We have as many separate ethnic identities as the United Nations. That’s why we have a parade about every hour and a half. But it is important, it is so very important, particularly for the people of this district who vote on Tuesday to recognize how important it is to understand that the city is changing. Most people in the city are going to look more like us than others and that’s just a fact. It is not a bad thing. It is frankly a good thing.
The district that Espaillat is vying for covers parts of the Upper West and most of Washington Heights, but for years has been represented by Eric Schneiderman. Espaillat was the first Dominican elected to the state Assembly. His opponent, Mark Levine, is white.
Dinkins also seemed to allude to incident last month when he flipped off a heckler at a Charlie Rangel fundraiser, saying, “Now that I am no longer in office, frankly, I go where want, I do what I want, I say what I want.”
It was a little bit odd to do the endorsement today since today is a Jewish holiday and even non-Jewish candidates have often treated it as a day off from the campaign trail in a mutual non-agression pact kind of a way.