In true Hizzoner fashion, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio just proved once again that he is all about control and yet can’t follow his own rules. And the city is furious about it.
As you well know, New York has been hit particularly hard by the quickly spreading coronavirus pandemic due to its large populations and densely packed spaces. As a result, Mayor de Blasio has put strict stay at home orders in place, which ban any large gatherings from occurring.
Well, this week, a few of his citizens violated that order by attending the funeral of a well-known and beloved Rabbi. So what did de Blasio do? He also broke the stay at home order by traveling across the city to ‘investigate’ for himself, bringing a whole posy of law enforcement officers with him.
Apparently, he didn’t like what he saw because it wasn’t but mere moments later that he took to Twitter, condemning the gathering and insulting the Jewish community in the process.
He wrote, “Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic. When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.”
At this point, his message might not seem too bad, even in he did just admit to breaking his own rules. But what he says next put the icing on the cake.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summon or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”
However, I have to disagree. This is not about stopping the virus. This is about taking more and more control. Hizzoner has already proved he cares little about the virus itself and what it can do to his citizens.
Remember when he encouraged his city to “go out on the town” and live their normal lives “despite” being in the middle of a pandemic? Remember when he broke his own rules to go to the gym, or when he drove across town just to go for a run?
This is no different. Mayor de Blasio implemented some new laws: everyone is to stay home and avoid large groups. And yet, the first time he hears of one going on, he has to be there, in person, to make sure it’s broken up.
He could have just sent police officers or a member of his staff. But no, he had to be the one.
If that doesn’t tell you he’s a control freak, I don’t know what will.
But even worse is that he called out a specific religious group and community, and one that is already prone to much persecution.
In recent months, attacks by white nationalists and other groups on those of the Jewish faith have increased dramatically, causing many in those communities to not feel safe walking the streets even in daylight.
And here you have the mayor, of all people, jumping down their throats, criticizing them, and only growing the rumors that this disease is somehow their fault.
As one social media user commented, “Do you know that white nationalists are RIGHT NOW blaming Jews for this pandemic on internet message boards? How can you do something so dangerous and irresponsible?”
Dangerous and irresponsible is precisely right.
I completely understand the need to take precautions during this time, and that means that banning large groups and requiring social distancing are not altogether bad ideas. However, in order for the point of those rules to work, the entire city must take part.
So let’s just say that showing up to a religious funeral with a brigade of your own Gestapo and making threats about arresting parishioners for mourning isn’t really the best way to get the communities support. And neither is calling them and an entire uninvolved community out on social media.
As one comment so cleverly let de Blasio know, “You can say goodbye to your next election.”