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Michael Shaw Headshot

Reading the Pictures: Meet the De Blasios!

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Call it patronizing all the way down to the typography. If NY Mag chose to frame the family, and the likely next first family of New York City as a biracial flavor-of-the-moment, as the hands-down winners of this year's Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa mailbox double-take contest, the stereotyping of:

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is worse than that. It's not just the white-accented cameo-style portrait in the fashion of a primetime promo, each gaze designed to introduce and imprint that character into your heart/infotainment diet, it's the Hollywood-style titling and typeface, as if branding The De Blasio family as a show. It might as well read: Meet The Jeffersons ... with a White Dad!


(Plausible perhaps as a greeting card, the illustration logically voids that format with the word "meet.")

If this cover is anything -- as the sub-head questions whether the foursome can even make it to Sweeps Week as mostly a visual novelty -- it's as a cringeworthy reminder of white media's two gestures when it comes to celebrating African-Americans. Option A: they're athletes. Option B: they're in entertainment.

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