New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is apologizing for a comment he made that used a stereotype of drunken Irishman. Making matters worse, he made the comment at the American Irish Historical Society.
Speaking at an event Wednesday to unveil the Historical Society's book entitled Celebrating 250 Years of the New York City St Patrick's Day Parade, Bloomberg joked that he was "used to seeing inebriated Irish hanging out the windows" during the St. Patrick's Day parade.
The crowd jeered him, and he later sent out a statement apologizing:
"I certainly didn't mean anything that anybody should take offense to. I was talking about a party they have every year on St. Patrick's Day, where it's traditional to hang out the window and yell and scream and it's all in good fun."
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St. Patrick's Parade chairman John Dunleavy was in attendance, and he told The New York Times the statement was "a shock," adding, "In this day and age for the mayor of the city of New York to make comments like that is outrageous and totally uncalled for. He wouldn’t make a joke about any other ethnic group."
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was also offended.
"Because of the mayor’s long history of support for the Irish community, his remarks last night were both surprising and inappropriate."