And now: Gumgate?

The insulting moment when Minneapolis City Council member Lisa Goodman handed her opponent her chewing gum has now been documented nationally. You must be so proud, Minneapolis.

The Associated Press story is appearing in the nation’s newspapers — the New York Times, for example — and now the nation must think this is as Minnesotan as grape salad.

And maybe it is for Lisa Goodman because how else would one look so entirely comfortable removing chewing gum from one’s mouth and have the nerve to hand it to someone else, in this case challenger Teqen Zea-Aida ?

The moment was captured by The Wedge Live.

As so clearly wrong as Goodman was, equally outrageous is the number of people who just can’t seem to decide whether it was offensive.

It’s a chewed piece of chewing gum, people! In her mouth!

This happened Tuesday at the Ward 7 Affordable Housing Forum.

Zéa-Aida wrote on Facebook that he thought he had bad breath when Goodman offered him some gum.

She is a master of nasty politics for sure! I now know what she is capable of first hand, and why she must go. I will not be fooled again.

In what is said to be an apology, Goodman said on Facebook that she’s sorry if her opponent “felt I disrespected him.”

“It was an attempt at humor,” she said, adding she’s sorry if it wasn’t viewed that way.

She said Zéa-Aida “looked at me like I was crazy.”

“He misunderstood what I said, I misunderstood him putting his hand out, I put the gum in his hand and then he looked at me like I was crazy and I took it back out of his hand,” Goodman later told the Star Tribune. “It was a simple attempt at humor that I am profoundly sorry for.”

  • Jack

    //“It was a simple attempt at humor that I am profoundly sorry for.”//

    What? Since when is handing someone your already chewed gum funny?

  • Erick

    Last time I heard a good “ABC gum” joke was in the second grade. Will she ask him to pull her finger next?

  • Rob

    Maybe next time Zea-Aida can return the favor by sharing the gristle from a piece of chewed steak with Goodman.

  • Mike

    Every time I think Minneapolis politics can’t get more stupid or dysfunctional, I’m proven wrong. These are the people running things. Why do we keep electing them?

  • *Facepalm*

  • Margot Rideaux

    Could this be considered assault? She exposed another to her body fluids. She may as well have spit at him.

    • Gary F

      Or maybe the gum had a strong mint or cinnamon smell to it. Is there still the Odor Police for people wearing too much cologne? Now Big Red Gum?

    • Ken

      Ok. While what she did was disgusting, let’s pump the brakes a little.

    • Ben Chorn

      Gum(s) don’t kill people…

  • Jay Sieling

    **In what is said to be an apology, Goodman said on Facebook that she’s sorry if her opponent “felt I disrespected him.”**

    I’m sorry, but if an apology contains the word “if”, it’s not an apology.

  • Barton

    I don’t get it, where is the humor?

    • Evil Arden

      There isn’t any. That was a lie.

  • Ken

    The “non apology apology”. Go away, ma’am.

  • Misha Jameson

    It would have been (marginally) funny if she had *pretended* she was going to hand him her gum and then said “just kidding” before putting it back in her mouth. Actually going through with it is just…gross.

  • crystals

    This pretty much sums her up, gum & all. (I guess she gets some credit for at least admitting she’s awful.)

  • Kelly O’Brien

    Did you talk to either of these people or are you just reporting on someone else’s reporting?

    • Pretty much going on what the individuals posted on Facebook.

      • Sheila Delaney

        Wow,I’m very disappointed that now, even MPR is spoon- fed the ‘news’ read on Facebook- and then rather than using it as a starting point, you simply regurgitate it.

        • You know what a blog is, right? It’s a weB LOG.

          But, I’ll put you down in the “there’s nothing weird or disgusting at all about taking gum out of your mouth and putting it in someone else’s hand” column.

          Which part of what your candidate wrote on Facebook do you think is wrong, exactly?

  • Sheila Delaney

    Could we see the actual video?

  • Really, whatever her work is really has nothing to do with the disgusting nature of taking chewed gum out of your mouth and putting it in someone else’s hand. If that leads people to ignore whatever other work you think she’s accomplished is irrelevant to your point. It’s not my job to be the public relations arm of Lisa Goodman.

    The best way to avoid these distractions is to refrain from disgusting public displays.

    When Goodman says she didn’t do that, please be sure to get back to me.

    I get it. She thought it was a joke. Ha ha. She’s wrong. It’s disgusting and lacks any semblence of culture and manners.


    • Sheila Delaney

      What Lisa did was unquestionably wrong, but it is an alarming stretch to say that the action has any basis in race / was a political power move / etc.
      You are absolutely incorrect to say her 20 + year body of work, relationship building and activism has nothing to do with this conversation. Lisa is a person in a body on a planet and she made a mistake. Not the first, or the last. She has apologized on the phone and in writing to Mr. Zéa-Aida . If her 20 year + history of initiatives,activism, relationships and policies have promoted the vile evils of bias, racism, exclusion or plain old intimidation and THEN, this happens … well, perpetuating this topic might have an ethical leg to stand on.
      So, yes- the FACT that her work and activism has been devoted to creating more opportunity for people, breaking down barriers to the basic human right of housing, breaking down long-standing institutional bias against woman,people of color and against LGBTQQIAAP people and creating a more abundant economy that benefits all of Minneapolis- is relevant to this conversation.
      Since you opened the door- I have something else to add to what is the also relevant ‘elephant in the room’ regarding this conversation. I have counted over 50 comments in which insults including: COW, PIG,Trash, Sow, Heifer, Kike have been used to describe Lisa. I have counted 6 comment to date threatening violence toward Lisa. So far, I have counted ONLY 3 comments addressing the fact that while we all ( including Lisa) agree Lisa made a mistake, perhaps the misogyny and vitriol and violent threats are indicative of the very troubling comfort that clearly many have with rabidly attacking a powerful woman. ALL OF THIS IS RELEVANT. You and your ilk are perpetuating this conversation and it would be really great if you could take a little responsibility.

      • I’m not her public relations department; that’s someone else’s job or the job of people who take the time to react one way or another. Whether it has something to do with race … and whether she denies it has anything to do with race, is up to those who want to express a thought on that one way or another. That’s up to them.

        Let’s be clear about a few things: I didn’t chew gum and then put it in someone else’s hands. I didn’t write Lisa Goodman’s words on Lisa Goodman’s Facebook page. If your complaint is those words got amplified, well, that’s the way it goes when you’re a public official and that’s the way it goes when you’re running for office as either the incumbent or a challenger, and that’s the way it goes when you’re at a public event.

        If you don’t want someone to notice when you chew gum, remove it from your mouth, and place it in the hands of your challenger, that’s excellent way to make that happen.

        [edited to add: As for the racism element, someone else claimed that and you’ll have to take it up with them directly. I was reacting to the assertion that because a white man said it wasn’t racism, it’s not. That doesn’t really hold much influence with me because white men rarely see racism and are really poor judges of determining when something is or when something isn’t. It may not be. I just don’t let white people establish the standard to determine such things.They’re terrible at it.]

        // You and your ilk are perpetuating this conversation a

        I wrote something at 6:33 yesterday morning and the only other words I’ve said on the subject were pretty much in response to those of you who have subsequently conversed.

        I’ll certainly take responsibility for that. But it’s illogical to perpetuate a conversation and then complain that the conversation is being perpetuated.

        • Sheila Delaney

          You’re the MPR ‘reporter.’ You’re the person who scours social media for content and you know very well what you are exploiting. I am interjecting and I feel fine about that.

          • I’m not a reporter for MPR.

            If you feel fine about your comments, I feel fine that you had the opportunity make them.

          • Sheila Delaney

            And since it’s clear you are scouring social media, the fact that you appear unconcerned about the anti-Semitic, misogynist and violent comments that are clearly part of this discussion-well, that’s also really disappointing,too.

          • If you have specific comments you think are inappropriate, go ahead and flag them. They are called to my attention and I’ve deleted many.

            OTOH, If you’re alleging that because a person who is a woman and Jewish any criticism she encounters is anti-Semitic and misogynist, then I think that probably accounts for your disappointment. Otherwise you’ll have to show me the content of a comment that is specifically anti-Semitic and misogynist and I will remove it immediately. Her religion and gender isn’t a force field.

          • Sheila Delaney

            As any woman or member of a marginalized group knows- of course there’s no ‘force field.’ I am referring to specific comments on Facebook and Twitter which are rampant.You are following this story- I am sure you have seen them and this part of the conversation is not part of what you have written. Kike? not anti-semitic? Cow, Heifer, Pig- not misogynist?

          • Right. Comment sections are garbage on Facebook and Twitter, the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press and elsewhere. They have nothing to do with this space.

            What you’ll find if you talk to the people who’ve read this blog for more than the last 36 hours is that NewsCut isn’t like that and doesn’t allow it.

            No, I’m not going to contaminate any discussion by giving that ilk a platform. If your contention is that any of the people in the post have provided anti Semitic or mysogynist element to the story, sure, I should and will update the post to include a link to that.

            If your contention is the post shouldn’t be written at all because there is anti-Semitism and misogyny in Minneapolis, no, that’s not a reasonable expectation.

            I’m responsible for the content that appears here.

  • James White

    I’d love to see a proposal for Minneapolis City Ordinance stating that if you do not understand that giving someone gum that you’ve chewed is considered offensive, you’re not fit to hold a MPLS office.