Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest attack on minorities:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proven to be the greatest enemy of black and brown New Yorkers the city has ever known.
Innocent blacks are being killed by street thugs at a level we have not seen in many years, and they, along with Hispanics, are being denied the same kinds of options afforded affluent white people when it comes to choosing the school of their choice. Now de Blasio is exploiting minorities again by setting up drug shoot-up clinics in their neighborhoods.
De Blasio’s motives may be different from that of the Ku Klux Klan, but his policies deliver exactly the kinds of results they love.
The mayor has chosen East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem (where I once taught), and Washington Heights, another minority neighborhood, to open his first legal shooting gallery for druggers.
Imagine an 11-year-old black or brown kid, who has been told by his mother never to take drugs, walking to school and on his way he sees municipal authorities providing needles to zombie-like drug users as they inject heroin into their arms. What message is that sending?
We know from Canadian cities like Alberta and Vancouver that these open-air clinics never work. Not only do they not get drug users to stop, they turn the neighborhood into a crime-ridden mess. No one wants them where they live, which is precisely why de Blasio is choosing neighborhoods where the vulnerable live.
De Blasio is a master at orchestrating spikes in crime, the victims of whom are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. His no-bail policy for many serious crimes—effectively creating a catch-and release turnstile—has resulted in a sharp increase in violent crime. Similarly, his decision to release hard-core criminals from prison—offering them free Mets tickets—has only emboldened criminals to continue business as usual.
This summer, after receiving $6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief, which the Biden administration explicitly said could be used to fight crime—de Blasio said he would not spend a dime on the police. The man is not stupid: he knows the consequences of his decision. That African Americans pay a steep price for his reckless war on public safety bothers him not a whit.
When COVID was raging last year, de Blasio was demanding that everyone practice social distancing, and to that end he banned all parades. But when Black Lives Matter carried out their illegal demonstrations, walking side-by-side, the New York mayor said they were exempt from practicing social distancing. That’s because he agreed with their cause.
When some of the protesters got violent, he told the police to stand down, ensuring that more innocent persons, many of whom were black cops, would be assaulted, if not killed. To this day, the police are told to back off, and they are duly obliging. This is not lost on the thugs.
De Blasio’s predecessor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, shut down failing public schools. In his first year in office, de Blasio rewarded the worst schools in New York City: he gave them $150 million in additional funding. Did it work? Of course not.
He dealt minorities another blow when he sought to undermine charter schools and school-choice initiatives. And while he boasted that his son Dante, who is part black, graduated from an elite public high school for gifted students, it didn’t take him long before he sought to crush these schools as well.
Drugs and crime have devastated black and brown neighborhoods under de Blasio, and his determination to keep minorities consigned to the lousiest schools in the city—allowing them no way out—has only added to their plight.
De Blasio is an absolute failure, crippling the very people he said he would help. He has done infinitely more damage to minorities than white supremacists could ever dream of doing.