I was appalled to learn that Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the U.S., has engaged former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to find ways that “peace and prosperity” can be created on the island because he is a “master of this process.”
The Facebook post that accompanies Ms. Marks photograph with Rudy Giuliani is incredulous because it doesn’t tell the full story:
Just over 20 years ago, New York City was racked with crime: murders, burglaries, drug deals, car thefts, the New York Public Library was an open-air drug market; Riders abandoned the subway in droves, fearing assault from lunatics, gangs… other disorderly persons “who rob, rape, assault, and murder . . . part of one world of uncontrollable predators.” Then in 1993 Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of NYC. He better than any other politician understood the pent-up demand for public order… the rest is history; New York’s drop in crime during the 1990s was astonishing! Indeed, “one of the most remarkable stories in the history of urban crime,” according to University of California law professor Franklin Ziering ~ City Journal.
Giuliani’s fallout with the black community came during the Crown Heights riots and the murder of Amadou Diallo, who was unarmed, when he was riddled with bullets by NYPD officers. His view is that the problem is with the black gangs, black parents who aren’t doing a good enough job of raising their children to respect the police, the refusal of black protesters to admit their “racist” views. He sees the problems the black community is faced with as self-inflicted, which is false.
Guiliani used the Crown Heights riots as a campaign issue in 1993 against incumbent David Dinkins, who was “accused of black nationalism and of letting the rioters roam unrestrained,” The New Yorker reports. He called the 1991 riots a “pogrom” and sided with the Jewish community. The riots were ignited after the accidental death of Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black boy, who was run over by a Hasidic Jewish driver. The Hatzolah Ambulance Core, a Jewish volunteer medical service, had arrived at the scene first, but did not transport Cato. It took Yosef Lifsh, the driver of the car, that hit Cato instead. He was later taken to the hospital in a city ambulance. He later died of his injuries. Giuliani ignored the underlying issues that led to the distrust between blacks and the Jewish community. That sparked the outrage that led to the riots. Yankel Rosenbaum, a student from Australia, was murdered during the riots. But there was very little said about Gavin Cato.
The “Broken Windows Theory” was introduced during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor. It was part of his “quality of life” campaign. It gave then-police commissioner Bill Bratton free reign to carry out his racist social experiment, which claims that “by going after small-time offenses, police are able to root out more violent crimes.” That led to black and Latinos being targeted disproportionately to whites. It is rooted in the view that the only thing that causes crime is the criminals themselves.
Let me revisit the murder of Amadou Diallo again…. He was gunned down in a hail of bullets the hallway of an apartment building in 1999, while reaching for his wallet. Patrick Dorismond was murdered by NYPD officers in 2000 while he was minding his own business on a Manhattan street. Uncover officers accosted him. Next thing we know, he was shot dead. What did Rudy Giuliani do in both these cases? He smeared the reputations of both men, particularly Desmond’s. He released part of his juvenile record as if to suggest that he deserved to be gunned down in the street.
Giuliani called the officers who murdered Anthony Rosario and Hilton Vega to “congratulate them on their performance,” while the men lay face down on the ground. The names of the black and Hispanic men victimized, some murdered, during Giuliani’s tenure include Abner Louima, Malcolm Ferguson, Nicholas Heyward Jr., and many others.
Giuliani made the ludicrious suggestion that blacks are somehow complicit in being brutalized by police officers and don’t know they need to be careful around these officers. But Philando Castile, who was murdered during a traffic stop in a St. Paul, Minn., suburb, did the right thing. Alton Sterling was murdered in Baton Rouge, though he was posing no threat. Eric Garner died after being held in a chokehold by a NYPD officer over “loosie” cigarettes. He was outnumbered by a swarm of officers, but yet he was killed, though unarmed.
The prosperity that Ms. Marks seems to think Giuliani can help bring to Jamaica is pure fiction. His policies led to a more polarized New York City, one in which the economic boom didn’t filter down to the majority of black and brown New Yorkers. While billions were being made on Wall Street, the living standards of black and Latino New Yorkers declined. According to statistics, by the time he left office, one in four New Yorkers were living in poverty.
So, excuse me if I call bullshit on Ms. Parks assertion in a Facebook post that Rudy Giuliani is the “master” of how to achieve “peace and prosperity.” I would urge her and her staff to do a search on Google for Rudy Giuliani and racial tensions. There will be a lot of information to be gleaned from reputable news outlets. The last person Jamaica needs to help it to chart a course for “peace and prosperity” is the man who has a shameful record on race relations.