Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bloomberg's stupidity on "intolerance"

A few days ago, I had a few thoughts on the stupidity of "PC tolerance." NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg is the latest example of "tolerance" taken to the most ridiculous degree.

The New York Times is silent on this, but the New York Post reports on Bloomberg's downright idiocy. He has called it "intolerant" that Manhattan residents are boarding up and erecting fences around their property, even though an upcoming parade is perpetually marred by violence.

June 10, 2005 -- In a move heavy with political overtones, Mayor Bloomberg has made a personal plea to property owners along upper Fifth Avenue not to board up their buildings for Sunday's Puerto Rican Day Parade — suggesting it insults an entire ethnic group.

"I have written or called every single building along Fifth Avenue," Bloomberg said last night at a pre- parade gathering of about 500 people at Gracie Mansion. "I have told them to do what they do for every other single parade — nothing."

But some owners are already ignoring the unusual request days before the parade, which has resulted in violence and property damage in the past.

"He's entitled to have his opinion," said a building employee at 1035 Fifth Ave. off 84th Street, where 6-foot-high metal fences have been erected in anticipation of the huge crowds drawn by the popular parade. "This is private property, and people are entitled to protect their property."

At 820 Fifth Ave., four-foot high green panels seal off the property.

"[The residents] spend an awful lot of money to care for their shrubs," said a doorman. "It's nothing personal against the Puerto Rican people."

The parade, which runs up Fifth from 44th to 86th streets, attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.

In 2000, in the most notorious occurrence in the parade's history, hordes of young men rampaged through Central Park groping women.

Officials concede that the city has no legal right to prevent property owners from shielding their buildings, but characterize the mayor's request as a moral argument.

In a May 4 letter to co-op board presidents, Bloomberg promised to double up on police barricades to protect greenery along the storied thoroughfare.

In return, he asked that the wooden boards around the gardens — a staple of the parade in recent years — be abandoned.

"It would mean so much to the city if each of you set an example by refraining from this practice, which is viewed by many New Yorkers as intolerant," the mayor wrote.

Aides denied that the mayor's message was intended to curry favor with Hispanics, a key voting bloc. They pointed out that Bloomberg denounced the boarded-up facades at last year's parade as a "disgrace."

At the Grace Mansion gathering, parade chairman Ralph Morales lauded Bloomberg's efforts. "He has gone above and beyond the call of duty," Morales told the crowd.
How is it "intolerant" to protect your private property from probable destruction?

The parade is fine and all, but residents have had enough. In 2000, roaming gangs went to Central Park and groped women. In response, Giuliani sent 6000 NYPD to patrol the 2001 parade; drunken rioters still caused mayhem when returning to the Bronx, including blocking a city bus, attacking police officers with bottles, and fighting with each other.

What's ludicrous is Bloomberg shifting the blame to the victims, by claiming it's "intolerant" for property owners to take steps. It's irrefutably within their rights to protect their private property from the drunks, vandals and other scum who use the Puerto Rico Day parade as a cover for their thuggery.

Note how Bloomberg phrased it: he "told" the property owners, instead of requesting they "do what they do for every other single parade." That tone even just in print would make the owners more convinced that only they can protect themselves. Big Brother claims he'll protect them, but the residents know better. History has been a bitter teacher.

Doubling the police barricades, indeed. How about police officers? Oh, forgive me, I forgot that that would be "racist." It would also be "racist" if Bloomberg warned the major Hispanic leaders to keep their parade-goers in line, that they'd better police themselves if the city is to permit the parade in future years. It's "racist" to address the source of the problem, so Bloomberg instead criticizes the potential victims who don't want broken windows, trampled shrubs and sexual assaults.

Rudy Giuliani used law enforcement to protect the citizens during riots, and he paid for it personally by enduring constant accusations of racism and fascism. I thoroughly disagree with his economics, and I think his beliefs on freedom versus government authority could well border on fascism, but at least Giuliani never tolerated mob violence. However, minority demagogues like Al Sharpton never point to that when accusing Giuliani. They seize on any "person of color" being arrested or shot, no matter how justified, as "racism."

Bloomberg is desperate. He'll most likely face Fernando Ferrer in the November mayoral election. Let's be honest, and this isn't racist in the least: as a matter of practical politics, Latino voters will go into the polls and largely prefer the Spanish name instead of the Jewish name. They'll prefer the candidate with a "real" Latino accent, instead of basic Spanish dominated by a New York accent.

Since Bloomberg can't risk alienating a couple of million Hispanics, he'll let several thousand Manhattan residents suffer. A vote is a vote.


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