New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is the liberal that all liberals should mimic. He is sticking to the liberal values that got him elected by an overwhelming 73% of the vote. He refuses to attenuate his stance on social justice even as sects within the New York City police department are attempting to force and coerce him to do so. He remains the stiff spine liberal that takes no crap.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was never going to be a hero to NYPD’s rank and file leadership. He campaigned in support of a more inclusive department and to reign in ‘stop and frisk’ policing. The NYPD rank and file leadership could not quite frame him as an anti-law and order liberal because he broke away and supported certain policing methods many liberals were apprehensive about. He did not want to end ‘stop and frisk’ or ‘broken windows’ policing outright. De Blasio wanted to use it as a tool when deemed necessary. This meant of course less racial profiling and much less harassment for the sake of showing police authority.
The NYPD rank and file leadership thought they got their moment with Mayor de Blasio’s comment after police officer Daniel Pantaleo choked Eric Garner to death. The Mayor said the following.
This is profoundly personal to me. I was at the White House the other day, and the president of the United States turned to me, and he met Dante a few months ago, and he said that Dante reminded him of what he looked like as a teenager. And he said I know you see this crisis through a very personal lens. And I said to him, I did.
Because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face. A good young man, law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong. And yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we’ve had to literally train him—as families have all over this city for decades—in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.
And that painful sense of contradiction that our young people see first, that our police are here to protect us, and we honor that, and at the same time, there’s a history we have to overcome, because for so many of our young people, there’s a fear. And for so many of our families, there’s a fear.
So I’ve had to worry over the years. Chirlane’s had to worry. Is Dante safe each night? There are so many families in this city who feel that each and every night. Is my child safe? And not just from some of the painful realities—crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods—but is safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.
To be honest, I think there are absolutely some lessons liberals can learn from Bill de Blasio, because I’m of the belief the nation (not to mention our state) could use more liberals with steel in their spines.