Jackson, to Thompson: ‘Can you see? Hello? Am I black enough for you, brother?’
At last night's Democratic mayoral forum in Washington Heights, after Bill Thompson acknowledged the presence of State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriella Rosa and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, Councilman Robert Jackson—seated on the opposite side of the room—began yelling out.
"I'm not part of the Northern Manhattan team? ... Can you see? Hello? Am I black enough for you, brother?" Jackson yelled.
Jackson and Thompson are both black. The elected officials Thompson had acknowledged a moment earlier are all Hispanic.
The changing demographics uptown has led to some tension among Democratic officials there. ("I had enough of their shit," Jackson once said of Rodriguez and Espaillat.)
Thompson said if Jackson hadn't interrupted him, he would have acknowledged him as the next Manhattan borough president, and he proceeded to cite a number of instances in which he praised Jackson as a "hero" for fighting for education aid. After that friendly-fire response from Thompson, an audience member next to me said something, approvingly and in earnest, about Thompson having some "Malcom X" in him.
The link at the beginning of this article is to Jill Colvin's much more thorough write-up of the event.