I didn't fully understand how someone could be offended at what Mayor Deblasio told his bi-racial son. After all, I still remember when I was lectured over and over as a child in this city on the same topic.
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.
De Blasio has been exceptionally evenhanded in his respect for police while trying to help us grasp the perspectives of people of color. He has tried to be a true friend to the NYPD, in the sense of a friend who believes in you enough to be critical when you can be better.
If soldiers in the trenches -- who were fighting the biggest war at that time -- were able to take at least a few hours to see beyond their conflict, to see the bigger picture and stop trying to kill each other, then why couldn't we?
The communities that have been harmed by aggressive policing will not be satisfied, and trust in the police will not be restored, until the processes to hold police accountable within the criminal justice system are reformed.
When I found out about the Eric Garner decision, I did not know how to respond. But my first instinct was not to stop. It was to go and do something. And I surely didn't pause to find my favorite worship song or let alone ask, "Lord, what would you have me to do?"
I stand on both sides of the so-called "blue line," placing one foot in the world of the NYPD furious over the murder of two of our own and another foot in with the black and brown people of this city angry with the senseless deaths of young people at the hands of the police.
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.
I pray for unity in the city, as pain runs deep in many communities. But, we will no longer tolerate those, like Pat Lynch, who want to create more pain by attempting to divide the people and those who have taken an oath to protect and serve them.
Police officers are now poised to treat pretty much anyone as a potential assailant. Already, chiefs and sheriffs around the country are creating new policies, and urging their officers to become extra vigilant.
What is needed now is calm and thoughtfulness, and a real willingness to engage in dialogue on both sides. But respecting law enforcement is a critical part of that equation.
This is not a political post. This is not a divisive post. This is not an inflammatory post. This is a simply a post to show that when a bullet kills a police officer it reverberates, not just in the public sphere, but for generations.
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need is not hatred; what we need is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country.
In the months since Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, a nationwide debate ha...