Local

Eric Adams is rightly calling on black people to help save the streets of NYC

I may not be the church-going type, but I certainly know a sermon when I hear one — and Eric Adams has preached a ton of sermons since taking office on December 31. Of course, with his focus on gun violence and post-pandemic recovery — rather than education reform and economic inequality — Adam’s sermon sounds very different than his predecessor’s. But what sets Adams apart the most is his message and his audience: accountability in the black community.

Few subjects are more taboo for white politicians – even a white politician with a black wife and black children like Bill De Blasio – than asking African Americans for a little self-reflection. But it’s actually a commonplace occurrence among blacks themselves, particularly in the African-American church, whose lofty style of speaking Adams often invokes when facing the press.

Consider the aftermath of the deadly double shooting of police officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora in Harlem in late January. Flanked by a mostly African-American supporting cast – including New York’s first-ever female police commissioner, Keechant Sewell – Adams’ press conference was a sharp rebuke for progressives who discouraged police and who have dominated talks with law enforcement since the death of George Floyd nearly two years ago.

Instead, Adams issued a call to action clearly intended as a rallying cry for his own community, which is bearing the brunt of the city’s rise in gun violence. “We must be united against these killers,” Adams, a former NYC police captain, said amid a crowd of colleagues. Those who resist this effort, Adams continued, “are co-conspirators in the violence we are witnessing.” Many in the crowd sighed an audible “Amen.”

A few days later, Adams used similarly pointed language when he wrote his comprehensive 15-page “Blueprint for Ending Gun Violence” to plan. It “will take us all,” he said, to end murders like Rivera and Mora — along with the shooting of an 11-month-old child Catherine Rose Ortiz in the Bronx that same week.

NYPD officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were shot dead while answering a domestic violence call at a Harlem home in January (above).
NYPD officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were shot dead while answering a domestic violence call at a Harlem home in January (above).
Christopher Sadowski

While Adams understandably didn’t single out any specific ethnic group, the data surrounding the city’s gun rush provides a fairly compelling analysis. In 2020, for example, NYC police data found that 96% of shooting victims were either black or Hispanic, while eight mostly minority and lower-income boroughs of the Bronx and Brooklyn had the highest number of shootings anywhere in the city. Nearly accurate statistics have been released for 2021 that saw about 90% of the murder victims and nearly 97% of shooting victims were also either black or Hispanic.

Most significantly, shooting Suspects and Arrests followed an almost entirely similar demographic collapse — meaning that black and brown people must stop shooting and killing other black and brown people for gun violence to end in New York City. In other words, the “we” in Adams’ “all of us” writing is literally the mayor himself — and many of those who resemble him. And when Adams repeated the phrase, “It’s our city against the killers,” during his performance at Harlem Hospital, he almost certainly understood that these killers — like their victims — typically hail from communities like Harlem. These are communities Adams knows firsthand, partly grew up poor – as one of six siblings – in a fourth-floor apartment building in Brooklyn’s still impoverished neighborhood of Brownsville.

Eric Adams grew up poor with his mother, Dorothy Mae Adams-Streter, and his five siblings in Brownsville, Brooklyn, before moving to Queens.
Eric Adams grew up poor with his mother, Dorothy Mae Adams-Streter, and his five siblings in Brownsville, Brooklyn, before moving to Queens.

Of course, this leads to some difficult conversations, particularly among activists still campaigning for Portland-style police reform. For the most part, progressive groups have failed to coalesce around a unified anti-Adams message. One reason is that Adams — unlike many big city mayors — is not afraid of it take on critics at both ends of the political spectrum (including a well-publicized spat with a local Black Lives Matter leader just weeks before his inauguration).

He is also not afraid to embrace socio-political taboos that many white politicians would never dare to tackle like he is now legendary “Stop the Sag” campaign in 2010 against young (mostly minority) men who wear low-rise trousers. As a black man speaking to a black audience about crimes (as the data confirms) mostly committed by himself, Adams’ message, with the hashtag of outrage app-tivists typically use to quell dissent, is hard to dismiss.

Before becoming mayor, Adams served as the NYPD's police captain, uniquely qualifying him to understand violence in the city.
Before becoming mayor, Adams served as the NYPD’s police captain, uniquely qualifying him to understand violence in the city.
Stephen Hirsch

With the launch of this week a pan-progressive Alliance called The People’s Plan Adams’s indifference to leftist opposition may soon become harsher. But as a former police officer – and teenage victim of police brutality – his unique ability to speak to minorities will retain its power as long as he remains, well, a minority (a status he probably won’t relinquish anytime soon).

For nearly two centuries, Americans have preached the virtues of “Activism starts at home.” For Mayor Adams, this message is truly a matter of life and death.

David Kaufman is a writer and editor covering politics, culture and finance.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/26/eric-adams-rightly-asks-blacks-to-help-save-nyc-streets/ Eric Adams is rightly calling on black people to help save the streets of NYC

DUSTIN JONES

USTimeToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimetoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button