I’m all for not speaking ill of the dead. But there’s only so much hagiography of absolutely terrible politicians that anyone can take, even after their deaths, and beyond the sheer disgust with lionizing the disgraced is the much larger problem that doing so revised history in a way that will prevent lessons from being learned.
So it is with the oratory for David Dinkins: the worst mayor that the Big Apple had in a century.
Some of it is entirely nonsensical, take this bizarre NBC News headline, “New York City’s first Black mayor David Dinkins remembered as ‘a warrior’ in Harlem tribute”.
Say what you will about Dinkins, the one thing no one had ever previously accused the milquetoast mediocrity of being, was a warrior. Coming between Koch and Giuliani, two strong personalities, Dinkins was another Bloomberg, an arrogant cold fish with poor communications skills who would win no debates.
But what Dinkins should really be remembered for is a weak and inept administration that pushed left-wing agendas, aided racists, rewarded corrupt cronies, and trashed the city. The high or low point of this was the Crown Heights Pogrom, a halfway point between the old race riots and the Black Lives Matter race riots, when Dinkins kept the police back and let the race rioters have their way, stoning, beating, and killing Orthodox Jews.
And that is what he should be remembered for.
Dinkins wasn’t a warrior. He was an inept hack who paved the way for Bill de Blasio, and whose administration closely mirrored the Democrats governments that have overseen the trashing of entire cities this year.
This is what he should be remembered for.
An NBC film crew that was in Crown Heights to cover the concert captured the jeering, explosion of glass bottles and the rioting. The agitation and crowds increased all evening until someone reportedly shouted, “Let’s go to Kingston Avenue and get a Jew!”
A number of black youths set off toward the predominantly Jewish area of Kingston Avenue, half-a-mile westward. All along the way, the mob — that was nearing 400 — vandalized property and heaved rocks and bottles. When they encountered a storefront with a mezuzah they smashed the windows, and when a car was identified as Jewish-owned (usually by a bumper sticker) it was torched.
Charles Price, megaphone in hand, declared, “We’ve got to kill Jews, they’re killing our kids!” Other racial hucksters echoed via bull horn, “We’re taking back our streets!”
Although there were numerous police units present, thanks to the conclusion of the concert, they maintained spectator status. The three rules for riot confrontation: contain, disperse and arrest, were meticulously avoided. The instructions from One Police Plaza were unequivocal, “Do not intervene.” Later it was revealed (and subsequently denied) that the instructions from the police commissioner, undoubtedly in collusion with the mayor’s office were, “Let them vent.”
The police stood by as a mob bent on murder gutted anything perceived to be Jewish in their path; their route could be traced by the carnage.
“There’s a Jew,” announced a scout, and 400-odd hoodlums set off after their prey. Yankel raced back to Lubavitch headquarters located at 770 Eastern Parkway, but he never made it. They nabbed him and began striking him against the fence of the S. Marks School on the corner of President Street and New York Avenue. This was seen by eyewitnesses and observed by cops.
As the police refrained from protecting him, he began to implement some desperate self-defense — thoroughly ineffectual against a mob — but significantly painful to those closest to a man trained in the martial arts.
To further uneven the playing field, Lemerick Nelsen removed a knife and impaled the helpless student. Only then did the police see fit to move, causing the mob to move on in search of additional victims.
On the third day of disturbances, Al Sharpton and Sonny Carson led a march of protesters chanting, “No Justice, No Peace!,” “Death to the Jews!” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” The mob displayed anti-Semitic signs and burned an Israeli flag.
This is what he should be remembered for.