THE POLITICS OF RACE—nmayoral candidate Rudi Giuliani realizednafter the September 12 primarynthat to win as a Republican in anDemocratic town like New York, henwould have to get a large chunk ofnliberal and centrist Jews to desertnDavid Dinkins’ ticket. As soon as thenprimary was over, therefore, the Giulianincampaign started raising the blacknmenace, taking an ad in the dailynYiddish newspaper linking Dinkinsnwith the dread Jesse Jackson. And, as anspecial coup, Giuliani and his chiefnadviser Roger Ailes named as honorarynchairman of the Giuliani campaign thenfamed Jewish stand-up comic JackienMason. The thinking was twofold: ton”humanize” the grim and pale RepublicannTorquemada, and to capture Jewishnvotes by elevating one of their own.nBut, oy, what a floperoo! WhatnGiuliani did not realize is that if yountake that same Jackie Mason who didnso well on Broadway in 1987 with hisnracial and ethnic one-liners, and putnhim into the highly-charged atmospherenof modern politics, an explosionnmight well occur. Nor did he realizenthat Mason had once been afRliatednwith Rabbi Kahane’s ultra-militantnJewish Defense League. Hence hisnsurprise when Mason, candid as always,nproceeded to deliver himself of anseries of anti-Dinkins and anti-blacknblasts: “Jews will vote for any black,nhowever incompetent, out of a sense ofnguilt”; “Dinkins looks like a blacknmodel without a job”; and “Jews helpnblacks a lot, but who ever heard of anblack giving a Jew a quarter?”nCrash! The sky fell in. Jews, blacks,nand everyone else — even Ed Koch! —ndenounced Jackie Mason. Given anpress conference the next day and anchance to apologize, Mason madenthings worse by reiterating his deeplynfelt position. Giuliani promptly firednthe miscreant, and Mason was at lastnshanghaied into another press conferencenwhere he duly apologized forn(you guessed it) his “insensitivity.”nJust as it seemed, however, as ifnGiuliani might escape this awkwardnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnincident without undue damage, bingo!nour intrepid media, hot on thenscent, came out with a haymaker. FornNewsweek disclosed that, at a meetingnattended by Giuliani, Mason, and severalnNewsweek editors a few weeksneariier. Mason had delivered himself ofnsimilarly anti-Dinkins and anti-blacknremarks, and that Giuliani, far fromnleaping up and slapping Mason in thenface, had actually laughed!, albeitn”nervously,” and, of course, had gonenahead with naming him as his honorarynchairman. Mason was reported tonhave said Dinkins was “a fancynschvartze with a mustache,” and “fullnof s-t by nature.” Giuliani tried tonexplain that he had not really heard ornunderstood the fast-talking Mason, andnhad only been polite, but Newsweeknretorted that there were only about sixnpeople in the small room, and besides,nRudi had laughed.nSomehow, of all the epithets, it wasnthe schvartze tag that stuck, the chargenbeing that schvartze is a terribly derogatorynterm for blacks. But is it? Technically,nthe answer is no. In some areas,nYiddish is a language of infinite subtlety.nFor example, there are a largennumber of nuanced terms for the Englishnphrase, “a clumsy oaf” You cannsay schlemiehl, schmendrik, shmeggegi,nor schlimazl, each having its own delicatenshade of meaning. (An old Jewishnjoke goes, “A schlemiehl is the sort ofnwaiter who is habitually dropping hotnsoup down a customer’s neck; anschlimazl is the sort of customer whongets his neck poured on.”) But whereasnEnglish has many words for blacks,nthere is only one word for black innYiddish, and that word is schvartze.nSo, technically, schvartze can hardlynbe a derogatory term, only descriptive.nThe problem, however, is that Jews innNew York have been accustomed,nwhen in the presence of blacks, to refernto them as schvartzes in the confidentnbut sometimes naive assumption thatnthe schvartzes remain blissfully ignorantnof this Yiddish term. Thus, in thenpresence of one’s black maid, “How’snthe schvartze doing?” Or, walkingnnndown a crowded New York street,n”Hmm, I see that the schvartzes arenout in force tonight.” It seems, wondernof wonders! that after several decades,nthe schvartzes caught on to this innocentncustom, and were not very thrillednby it.nGiuliani has not been alone with hisnrace problems. As was revealed innmid-October, on David Dinkins’ paidnstaff was an infamous black militantnnamed Sonny Carson. Carson headsnan organization called the Campaignnto Honor Black Heroes, an outfit withnno address or telephone, and fewnmembers. The committee surfaced innlate August after the allegedly racistnmurder of a black youth named YusufnHawkins in Bensonhurst, a largelynwhite neighborhood in Brooklyn. Carsonnand the young toughs who constitutenthe committee marched across thenBrooklyn Bridge on August 31 tonprotest the murder, and received thendesired TV footage, including the injurynof many police and the arrest of 44nof Carson’s colleagues.nThe Dinkins people say that theynpaid Carson and his committee $9,500nfor their valiant efforts in bringing outnthe black vote in Brooklyn on primarynday. Dinkins’s critics question Carson’snelectioneering prowess, and point outnthat his protest marches ended abruptly:nin other words, the money was anpayoff to keep Carson’s goons quiet fornthe remainder of the campaign.nCritics have also dug up some allegedlynanti-Semitic statements Carsonnmade in 1968, and a 1974 convictionnfor kidnapping and attempted murder.nWhen Carson proceeded to call a pressnconference to tell his side of the story,nhe came flanked by his young goons,nwho sported leather jackets and glovesnwith studded knuckles. Thunderingnthat the charge of anti-Semitism wasnabsurd, Carson clarified that his positionnis that he hates all whites, with nondiscrimination as to creed or religion.nCapping even this, Carson explainednthat he could not possibly be anti-nSemitic, since, as everyone knows, “wen[the blacks] are the true descendants ofnJANUARY 1990/5n