That is the pink elephant in the room

I have posted this malaphor before when Alex Rodriguez said it ( but it’s too good not to share a second time. This time it was uttered by New York City Mayor Eric Adams in an interview with Don Lemon on CNN. The discussion was about what happened with Tyre Nichols:

Lemon: Much has been made about the officers, all of them being Black. You’ve said that diversifying police departments would allow us, and this is a quote, “Allow us to have the level of policing we all deserve.” These five officers, all Black, is there an entrenched police culture of aggression towards Black people?

Mayor Adams: Well, clearly we could not ignore the ethnicity of the officers that are involved. That is the pink elephant in the room. And people talked about that. And when we want to diversify departments, it’s not only African American. We have increased the number of members from the AAPI community, Spanish speaking officers, Muslim officers. The role was to ensure that you diversify departments, so the officers are coming from the communities that they represented and that grew up in those communities. Those officers, I believe, betrayed that when all of us attempted to diversify departments. But we’re going to stay focused. We’re going to keep moving forward. Diversity still is the key. We saw that in here in New York City and we are going to stay on that road, but there was a personal feeling of betrayal when I witnessed that video.

This is a mash up of “elephant in the room” (obvious problem no one wants to discuss) and “seeing pink elephants” (recovering from an alcoholic bout). See also entries “the white elephant in the room” (Sept 6, 2012), “the 800 pound gorilla in the room” (Nov 15, 2012), and “memory like a hawk” (Nov 17, 2012).  Elephant malaphors apparently come in all shapes and colors.

A big thanks to Verbatim for spotting this one and sending it in.


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