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T-shirt honors NYC mayor’s boneheaded ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ tabloid headline


 
On Friday, June 28, 2013, Michael Bloomberg, then serving out the last few months of twelve loooong years as mayor of New York City, made one of those comments on his weekly radio show that politicians sometimes make when circumstances have forced their hand on a policy position that is neither tenable nor reversible. For some years stop-and-frisk had outraged citizens over baldly racist N.Y. Police Dept. practices of detaining minority citizens, policies that yielded superficial improvements in crime statistics as well as a great deal of busywork for police officers. Rather than own up to the inherent disgrace in treating minorities as criminals, Bloomberg reached for one of those counterintuitive defenses politicians sometimes favor when they’re about to dismiss the rights of a great number of people.

Bloomberg said, “We disproportionately stop whites too much. And minorities too little.”

The next day, in the curious “headline-ese” of the N.Y. Daily News, that sentiment ran as follows: 
 

We stop
TOO
many
WHITES

 
Democratic candidate for mayor Bill de Blasio, then still in a primary hunt, blasted that statement, and some observers have credited that specific moment of distancing himself from the excesses of the Bloomberg administration with his later electoral victories. Four months later, Bill de Blasio, famously married to an African-American woman and the father of two biracial (and highly entertaining) children, was elected mayor of New York, a choice that was widely seen as a rebuke to Bloomberg’s handling of the NYPD. The era of stop-and-frisk was over—at least so went the hope. We all know that such policies have a way of being tenacious. (De Blasio has had considerable success in reducing the policy.)
 

 
Suffice to say that while the rest of the country might find all of this rather picayune, a certain subset of liberal New Yorkers remembers those months fondly. De Blasio became the first staunchly “liberal” mayor of the city since unfortunate David Dinkins, the only African-American mayor the city has ever had, who had the misfortune to preside at the absolute pinnacle of the crack epidemic and a major recession. His perceived failures ushered in Rudy Giuliani, who, suffice to say, looked a whole lot better at the time. In any case, Bloomberg’s comment, the headline, it all is a product of one of those charged moments that maybe only New Yorkers care about (even if they do become noticed by the nation at large): Bernie Goetz, Lizzie Grubman, Sully Sullenberger, Dr. Jonathan Zizmor, Robin Byrd….

Enter Ashok “Dapwell” Kondabolu, of the currently defunct and oddly timely NYC alt-hip hop outfit Das Racist. He’s designed a T-shirt with the Daily News cover. You can get a T-shirt for $20 and a sweatshirt for $40. As Dapwell says on the site, “Remember this guy? Remember when he said this shitty thing? ... Commemorate New York City’s gone but (sadly) not forgotten Mayor Mike with one of these high quality, screen-printed, and 100% ultra cotton sweatshirts and t-shirts featuring the ACTUAL June 29, 2013 cover of the Daily News.”

Rush as fast as you can to get one, because there ain’t many left—indeed, it may be too late. Dapwell says that there is “VERY LIMITED QUANTITY”—no kidding, just yesterday he said on Twitter that there’s just one sweatshirt left and “a dozen” shirts.
 

 
via Animal

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Mayor Bloomberg attempts photo-op; is shouted down

Bloomberg
Bloomberg doing his best approximation of a Christian rock album cover, and half as sincere
 
New Yorkers are pissed off with local response to Sandy. Trains in poorer neighborhoods have been lower priority for restoration. Bloomberg defended going through with the New York Marathon while they were still fishing bodies off of Staten Island. When public sentiment finally forced his hand, he was demonstrably begrudging, perceiving the cancellation as a huge concession on his part.

Afterwards, it took forever to bring the (highly portable) marathon resources from the race points to those in need. There’s a gas shortage further immobilizing the city. People are still waiting in long lines for shelter and food, and necessities, and many areas are still woefully under-serviced. And now there’s been a nasty cold snap.

It only makes sense that Bloomberg make an appearance for a photo-op. Fortunately, the awesomely bitter New York spirit takes no truck with his unctuous performance. Notice how he just walks away from his constituency and instead drops a sound bite on the cameras.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Bloomberg blinks: Establishment treads carefully on Occupy Wall Street


 
As we all know by now, Mayor Bloomberg blinked and the “cleaning” of Zuccotti Park was postponed. Allison Kilkenny writes at The Nation blog:

Brookfield Properties, the owner of Liberty Park, which had planned to schedule a cleaning of the property where protesters have been camped out these past weeks, cancelled its maintenance plans suddenly last night to the surprise of many.

Reportedly, Brookfield handed down the decision to the city late Thursday, though the announcement didn’t reach Liberty until Friday morning when two thousand activists erupted in cheers as they huddled at the center of the camp. I’m sure Brookfield and the Mayor will stick with the story that this decision was made late last night, but the presence of thousands of determined occupiers probably sealed the deal if there was any indecision left in the board room.

Confused murmurs served as a prelude to celebrations – a haze of disbelief best articulated by a fellow reporter, who stumbled from the surging crowd to exclaim, “We don’t WIN! We’re the ones who get the shit kicked out of us!”

This was the first protest I’ve ever covered where the activists won – if only a battle, and not the war, and if only temporarily. And the victory is definitely temporary. Major problems have not been resolved and large questions remain: Will the protesters be able to bring their sleeping bags back into Liberty Park? Will they be able to sleep on the ground? Fourteen hours ago, Mayor Bloomberg declared protesters wouldn’t be able to return their gear to the park, and now the decree came down to postpone the cleaning entirely. Why the change of tune?

Considering the sorts of electronic images that would have been instantly transmitted to the rest of the world had a bunch of NYPD riot cops tried to evict 5000 committed citizens from Zuccotti Park this morning, Mayor Bloomberg dodged a seriously stupid bullet that he was threatening to shoot into his own foot.

This is an important victory. It shows you that they’re afraid and it also shows you the limits of what they think they can get away with.

You can see the jubilant moment when the news was announced early this morning, in the video below.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment