Interview: The Future of Identity Politics in New York

Friday, September 13, 2013

Identity politics once played a decisive role in NYC elections. But the assumption that it always would appeared to have been turned on its head during Tuesday's primary, when Bill Thompson, the only African-American candidate for mayor, did not get a majority of the city's black voters.

It was Bill de Blasio, an Italian from Brooklyn with a multiracial family, who got 80 percent of black majority precincts. 

Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the non-profit community organizing group The Brooklyn Movement Center, said that's because Thompson failed to "capture the imagination of black voters," and that black voters didn't really find themselves identifying with the candidate.

"Bill de Blasio ... has had strategic relationships with black political operatives and organizers ... progressive forces within the black community spanning decades," Griffith said.

After an unofficial tally, Thompson got 26 percent of the full vote and de Blasio got 40.3 percent. The Board of Election started to count the votes Friday.

To hear Host Amy Eddings' full interview with Mark Winston Griffith, click on the audio above.




Mark Winston Griffith

Hosted by:

Amy Eddings


Gisele Regatao


More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by