So it's time to end the noise and hostility, and initiate change. A good place to start would be for police departments and community leaders to start speaking with each other instead of at each other, and to do it in a meeting room instead of on the streets.
Like many freshmen, Mayor Bill de Blasio had some moments of glory and some rookie stumbles in his first year in office. Now, as we head into the holiday season of good cheer (and school break) here is a brief report card of how the mayor performed in some of the difficult subjects.
If all lives matter, then the response should be mutual outrage and remorse for the loss of life. That should include the lives of cops and citizens, whether black, white, or of any race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender.
The recent ambush and killing of two NYC police officers is heartbreaking and wrong on every level. Violence is never the right path. Let me repeat that -- violence is never the right path.
We waited. Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Eric Garner. Nothing.
A group of top Tinseltown producers and studio execs retained the world's top crisis management guru -- a man known only by his acronym, "TWTCMG" -- to create a plan for handling revelations sure to come from their own nasty emails.
No matter what lens one uses, it is impossible to deny the racial and class implications of all three incidents.
We must listen to each other and we must be willing to hear the difference within each other and seek common ground. We must stop the finger pointing because it gets us nowhere. If we want the change we seek we must all be willing to have and open and honest conversation.
If Hillary Clinton had championed issues that directly correlate to presidential authority, like ending perpetual wars or curtailing domestic spying, I probably wouldn't be considering Rand Paul in 2016.
I do not make accusations of racism lightly. I am not talking about personal biases. I am talking about institutional practices that appear to be condoned at the highest level in New York State government. Read the post; look at the evidence. It will be hard to disagree.
At the end of last Wednesday's town hall meeting in Sunset Park, NYPD Chief Phillip Banks and his entourage of NYPD head honchos had just about had enough. Dennis Flores, the founder of El Grito de Sunset Park, which organized the meeting, finished the night by demanding 72nd precinct commander Captain Thomas Ng be fired.
On one side of this discussion are those who are holding up the shooting of Michael Brown as an example of the racial inequality in this country and in the justice system in particular. On the other side of this discussion are those who see racism as a hoax to be disproved.
Where is the outcry from our leading domestic violence organizations in the wake of the latest Ray Rice elevator video, wherein he punches his fiance in the face?
From what Mr. Brown told me, and as the wonderful new movie, "Get On Up" powerfully shows, whatever frustrations he was dealing with then couldn't begin to match the pain, rejection and daily obstacles he endured as boy and young man.
Nationally, church leaders wrote eloquently about the need for local churches of all sorts to step up to the awesome challenges of racial prejudice, and to note that 86.3% of local churches in America failed to have at least 20% "diversity" in their membership.
I was at the gym, minding my own business, when the President took over all of the televisions in the room to make his big announcement: The plan is...that there is no plan.