Outrage over candidate's blood comments

September 1, 2009 2:38:11 PM PDT
A candidate for New York City Council is defending comments he made about donating blood. Eduardo Giraldo says Latinos should only get blood from Latinos.

The controversial comments were made on a public access show, and pieces wound up on YouTube. They have some in the African-American community fuming.

It was enough to start an all-out argument outside Giraldo's campaign headquarters in Jackson Heights, Queens.

The host of the show said he offered to edit out Giraldo's comments, but that the candidate told him to leave them in.

He not only stood his ground Tuesday, but he repeated the controversial comments.

"The antigens for Latino blood is the best antigens for Latinos," he said. "The antigens for African-American blood is the best antigens for African-American blood. For all other races, it's the same thing. I'm not saying that one blood is better than anybody else's blood."

But on the tape, Giraldo did say African-American and European blood has "problems." Those are words he took back Tuesday afternoon.

Giraldo says the controversy boils down to dirty politics. But local NAACP leaders say district 21 constituents deserve the truth.

"It just shows there is too much racism," NAACP East Elmhurst president George Gibson said. "There shouldn't be any going on within this community, especially since it's so diverse."

"I'm Puerto Rican, I'm Latin," one constituent said. "I've donated blood many, many times, and I've donated to whites and to blacks. And you know what? They're still alive. How could the man say that? That's disgusting."

"I think the wording was a bit out, it was taken out of context," constituent Nelly Diez said. "It doesn't mean it's good for Latinos, therefore it's not good for blacks. It means that if you can donate blood to African-Americans and if there are things in the blood, I don't know the chemistry, then of course donate your blood type to your people."

New York Blood Centers says more minorities need to donate because, "many patients have unique blood needs that can only be met by blood donors of the same ethnic or racial background."

They say that scientifically speaking, no blood is superior to another.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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