Mayor de Blasio went on television this morning and advised his peers in the Democratic party that they needed to be "blunt" about what ails our country. "If we're not blunt about a history where there's been racial problems in this country, if we're not blunt about income disparity, how do we expect the people to hear in us as leaders the ability to change anything?" de Blasio told George Stephanopoulos. Yet the mayor ignored his own advice when asked what he thought of the grand jury's decision to not indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner.
The talk show host: "You promised to ensure a fair and justified outcome in the Garner case. Do you believe the grand jury's decision met that standard?"
The mayor: "George, I make it a point not to talk about any element of judicial process per se."
"So you respect the grand jury's decision."
"Respect the process."
"So you respect the process, but not the decision?"
"George, the point is we in public service who have an opportunity to change policies and approaches have to do that."
Is it possible to change the policies that prevent police officers from being punished for wrongfully taking someone's life if you refuse to publicly admit that those policies are unjust?
Settling the Central Park Five case was "an act of justice."
A Staten Island grand jury's egregious repetition of the pattern of denying justice to people of color is…no comment?
The police unions seemingly don't give a shit about the mayor's anodyne olive branch. So who is de Blasio trying to placate here, if not the city's establishment?
The mayor spoke clearly and eloquently about how racism in policing affects his own family ("It's different for a white child. That's just the reality in this country.") but brushed aside the very incident that instigated the conversation. In this way he is emulating our president, who, after every recent outrage committed against young black men, has reminded us that "we are a nation of laws" without urging us to change the discriminatory ones.
Asked about Mayor Giuliani's idiotic statements about race and crime, de Blasio replied, "I think he fundamentally misunderstands the reality." A reality in which the current mayor of New York City leaves us to believe that the Eric Garner decision is, as he promised, "a fair and justified outcome."