This is an excellent short piece from Daily Kos. New York City’s police (some of them) are up in arms about remarks made by newly-installed mayor Bill de Blasio. They have taken offense at some things the mayor has said in the wake of police shootings in Gotham lately. At one of these public gatherings, de Blasio said this about his biracial son:
Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face. A good young man, law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong. And yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we’ve had to literally train him—as families have all over this city for decades—in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.
Some members of the NYPD and some members of the public find these remarks insensitive. They say it shows the mayor doesn’t stand behind law enforcement. Really?
The mayor should never criticize law enforcement? Even when everyone knows there are serious racial problems, serious ethical problems, serious effectiveness problems in the force?
To me, not criticizing, not accepting ingrained bureaucracy and prejudice is both obscene and a dereliction of duty.
We need cops. I’m all for law enforcement. I’m all for peace officers. To protect and to serve. No matter who you are. What I’m not for are cowboys and race-baiters and gay-haters and misogynists. Saying that there are bad cops, telling your kid to look out for bad cops who will profile you — and maybe even rough you up — because of the color of your skin, that’s not anti-police. That’s intelligent governing and parenting.
Being critical of police is the only way we will make change happen. Otherwise, New York, greed, graft and corruption are self-perpetuating and hellish to get rid of. The corrupt love to hang onto power. If you’d like a primer on what corruption can do to a city — your city —please visit the Wikipedia entry for Tammany Hall.