Why Bill de Blasio Is Such a Schmuck
New York City’s mayor claims he wants a just society but he is instinctively hostile to the protests and grassroots organizing necessary to win such it.
I met Bill de Blasio once, in March 2016, four years before he was being cursed every night for his spineless defense of police who senselessly beat bystanders and run over protesters in SUVs, before calls for his resignation were ringing out on New York City’s streets.
I was part of a delegation of public education activists invited to City Hall to discuss our concerns over New York State’s high-stakes testing regime — and the mayor’s gag order policy that barred city educators from criticizing the tests. We were ushered into the famous Governor’s Room, where we sat at an elegant table underneath John Trumbull’s portrait of Alexander Hamilton. One of us brought the mayor pastries from his favorite Park Slope bakery as a gesture of goodwill.
But once the meeting started and de Blasio realized that we weren’t starstruck by our surroundings but were in fact deeply concerned about the damages of over-testing, the atmosphere in the room changed dramatically.
“Let me explain to you how change really works,” Bill de Blasio said to us. “You put me into office, and now you have to let me do my job.” It’s been four years so I’m paraphrasing, but only by a word or two — the mayor’s obnoxiousness left quite an indelible impression.
De Blasio went on to spend most of our time lecturing a group of deeply knowledgeable educators and parents — people from whom he could have learned a lot. The feeling I took away from his message was that we were naive activists, and that he was the one who understood how to win the education goals that he took as a given we all shared in common.
This is, of course, the same unmitigated gall that de Blasio is currently displaying tenfold when he claims to support protests against police violence even as he defends outrageous police violence against those very protests.
And it’s the absurd arrogance of liberal mayors across the country who head cities dominated by racist, brutal law enforcement agencies, yet claim to be part of the movement…