Lest the flippant liberal blogosphere miss the flu-hysteria bandwagon, Huffington Post blogger Betsy Perry wasted no time parroting the right’s xenophobic spew this week. Proving that lame racial humor knows no political boundaries, Perry–who serves on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Women’s Issues Commission–commented:
"Used to be the worst thing about visiting Mexico was drinking the water or tickling an ice cube in your margarita; it was guaranteed regardless of safety measures that within hours you would be physically attached to the ‘commode.’ Warned against eating anything that might have been touched by the Mexican help with hands washed in parasite infested tap water, you’d live on guacamole and Doritos even at the finest hotels. "Nowadays the best PR Mexico has is the movie ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua.’ Between the guns, drugs, kidnappings and swine flu, this poor country can’t catch a break and, maybe it shouldn’t. Getting Montezuma’s Revenge seems the least of Mexico’s headaches for now."
The post prompted criticism from New York City officials and others, and a protest rally today by group of student activists in City Hall Park. Perry has since issued an apology on HuffPo, stating that she "crossed the line between cute and offensive" and requesting that the post be removed. As of May 1, the post remains on the site, so you can read this scintillating conclusion:
"Listening to the news this morning made me realize that others are thinking along the same lines — can it be we have been looking for just this swine flu excuse to close our borders to Mexico?"
Perry was right on that point. She seems less aware of her induction into the legions of conservative blowhards and dewey Spring Breakers who are looking more and more like a pandemic threat to Mexico’s border to the north. Not so cute.