The impasse created by Staten Island Republican politicians over the planned march by the National Action Network seem to have subsided for now. Sharpton and others have decided they will march into the Borough using Buses and cars. It will be interesting to see what the howlers complain of next , now that Sharpton has show flexibility in this matter.
The Bridge is owned by New York City and operated by the (MTA) Metropolitan Transport Authority. The bridge was not built with a pedestrian walkway, non-motorized transportation is limited to using the bridge during special events such as the New York City Marathon and Five Boro Bike Tour. If the Bridge can be shut down to accommodate Marathon runners and Bikers it should be allowed for protests against Injustice. What we hear from the Pharisees in Staten Island is unmitigated wink, wink, nod, nod, for the Cops who killed Asthmatic Eric Garner with an illegal choke-hold.
Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network planned to march across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into Staten on Saturday Aug.23rd to protest the choking death of 43 year old Eric Garner of the Borough. The Borough’s Republicans raised a big stink , claiming that the march would close down the bridge on a day when it is heavily used. We contended from the offset of their howling , that the reason they were griping had little or nothing to do with Bridge congestion or it’s closing. In fact even though the Bridge in question has no walkway, traffic would not have to stop in order for a foot march to happen. There would be monetary cost associated with a potential closing.
One Staten Island resident summed up our theory this way.
“I would think the mayor should stop him, but this mayor, he’s not going to stop him. He’s just not going to do that,” said Len Hickey. “He doesn’t want to get involved with all the politics and the insanity of it. He won’t do it. He won’t have the cops to do it. He’s not Giuliani.”
That’s exactly the point , Bill De Blasio is not Rudolph Giuliani! Rudolph Giuliani cared only about the Police and the City’s white residents. De Blasio won on a mandate to fix the City’s Police problems with residents of the City. Most of those problems between residents and the NYPD were created by Giuliani’s disrespect for the minority communities.
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the Giuliani era was that he was solely responsible for making the city safer. That was a myth which he never misses an opportunity to exploit. The truth is that Mayor David Dinkins started safe city safe streets, and actively grew the Police Department. Many of the Cops who demonstrated with the divisive race-monger Giuliani on the steps of City Hall, referring to Dinkins as a washroom-attendant, owed their jobs to Mayor Dinkins. No, De Blasio is trying to be a Mayor to all New Yorkers, not just Cops, firefighters and his chosen friends.
Police officers do not have to turn a blind eye to crimes and misdemeanors . Policing the City’s 5 Boroughs can be done if Police officers act intelligently. Aggressive Policing does not mean abusive Policing. Force must be a last resort in effecting arrests. There are other ways to bring residents of the City to court for minor offences without violent arrests which leads to what happened to Eric Garner. Police Officers must divest themselves of the testosterone-laden-bravado too many of them have. This is not confined to the NYPD.
Showing respect to someone about to be arrested , goes a long way in determining how that arrest will end. It may have a lot to do with the safety of the person being arrested and the cop effecting the arrest. Too many Police officers place themselves on pedestals above residents. Too many Cops have no respect for people who do not look like them. Too many cops escalate rather than de-escalate minor matters. Police Officers need to get back to speaking to people with respect and they will find people will be far more accommodating to them. Being hired as a cop does not make one a God. Most Cops need to be reminded of this. Once they figure this out, I’m all for bringing criminals and offenders to justice.
A word of caution to black residents of New York city and all across America. I have heard some very disturbing comments coming from some of you against Al Sharpton. What I hear sounds exactly like something out of the Republican play-book. Be careful when you allow others to tell you who your leaders should be. They said the very same things about Dr King. They tried to coerce him into commiting suicide under threat of blackmail. When he did not capitulate to their demands they put a bullet in him.
Every other black leader has had his/her character dragged through the mud. Character Assassination. What happens to a people without leaders? Remember what happen to others will happen to you, you will need someone to stand with you. Blacks in America have not won a single victory that cannot be reversed. The Supreme Court just last year stripped away parts of the voting Rights Act. The Court’s logic is that it worked well, and is no longer needed, things are not the way they were when the Legislation was signed into Law. That was nonsense and everyone of those Justices who voted to strip away sections of the law knew it. You do not change something because it works, You change it because it does not work.
All across America Police are killing young black men, no one is immune.
A few of the comments which made it onto the CBS website in relation to this topic.