New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is catching heat after photos surfaced from a Sikh Cultural Society event over the weekend.
“New York City is fortunate enough to be home to one of the largest Sikh populations anywhere. It was my honor to join the Sikh Cultural Society and participate in the Dastar Bandhi turban tying ceremony with the community today,” de Blasio tweeted along with photos of him wearing a turban.
The internet immediately jumped in with references to The Office character Michael Scott, who blundered his way through many cultural landmines in the show’s run.
The Sikh Cultural Society released a statement spinning the faux pas as a call to end judgments based on appearances, which, ironically, seems to pertain only to liberals making grand gestures. Anyone else dipping their toe into another culture tends to face immediate scrutiny and scolding from an ideological base that claims to care about inclusion, but is addicted to division. Of course, de Blasio took the opportunity to speak out of both sides of his mouth.
“It is an honor because we are here today sending a message that the city—this country and this world—needs this message that we are all together,” de Blasio said.
“A message of respect. A message of inclusion. The Sikh community has contributed profoundly to New York City. I want to make it very clear New York City is a better place because of this community. We need this community; we cherish this community. And yet, in a world where there’s so much misunderstanding. And too many biases and prejudices, we have to fight every day, every one of us to remind people of these great contributions to remind people, the value of this community and why all of us need to stand shoulder to shoulder.”
If you believe this nonsense, but also think that cultures should be vehemently protected from appropriation, then I have a half-finished bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.