Imagine, for a moment, a different scenario in the Jordan Neely case.
Let’s say that Neely, a homeless individual and part-time Michael Jackson impersonator with a record of 40-plus arrests, had not been apprehended and put into a choke-hold by 24-year-old Marine vet Daniel Penny on the Manhattan-bound F-train on May 1, 2023.
Let’s also imagine that Neely’s mental breakdown rant on that same subway train went from threatening violence – “I’ll hurt anyone on this train” – to actual violence in which he attacked several passengers.
Imagine Neely turning on passengers by pushing, shoving, punching and kicking – as Daniel Penny observed the mayhem from the sidelines.
Imagine the press coverage after this fact.
“Passengers watch as homeless man terrorizes train and injures many. Who was there to defend the 80-year-old woman who died of a heart attack as Neely threw kicks and punches?”
The article would give an overview of the able-bodied passengers on the train who could have done something but didn’t.
“On board was a 24-year-old Marine vet who sat and observed as 80-year-old Mrs. O’Rielly fell to the floor and died” – one can envision news stations proclaiming.
The Jordan Neely incident could have easily gone this way.
Any city resident will tell you that riding the subway on a regular basis is a good education when it comes to gauging the danger level of crazy people acting out in public.
Most of the crazies I’ve encountered on Philadelphia’s Market Street El have been of the ‘theatrical’ variety (all bark and no bite) who, though seriously mentally ill, are rarely harmful to other people and not dangerous with a capital ‘D’ at all. To the occasional suburbanite who rarely visits the city, however, these same people might appear to be extremely dangerous.
In other words, when one is thoroughly urbanized, these things are put into perspective.
At the same time it is very nearly impossible to know when a severely mentally ill individual like Neely will snap and go from ‘all bark and no bite’ to actual violence.
When one enters a train as Neely did and screams that he is ready to die, and that he doesn’t care if he gets the death penalty, this is tantamount to an Islamist terrorist screaming from his airplane seat that he is ready to die for Allah.
Behavior like this puts everyone on notice that they should also be ready to die. After all, if the deranged person doesn’t care about his life, he’s not going to care about yours.
And yet – would you believe – an army of woke leftist race card baiters would have you believe otherwise.
Vox, the lefist online publication, ran the following headline after Neely’s death: ‘How Black Americans are treated as threats.”
What does a headline like this mean? Neely was a threat because of his actions, not because of his race. Had a deranged white man shouted similar things Penny would almost certainly have reacted in a similar way.
It’s also possible that Penny hesitated before subduing Neely because he was black and the ‘race card’ threatened to discolor anything he might do.
CNN’s headline took the sympathetic/Hallmark card approach: ‘Jordan Neely, the man killed in chokehold on NYC Subway, is remembered as an entertainer shattered by his mother’s death.’
Embedded in the headline one can hear a chorus of violins that seems to raise questions about Penny’s motivations when he unintentionally ended the life of a homeless man whose life had already been shattered.
Mayor Eric Adams, wisely circumspect, did not jump to Al Sharpton conclusions when he cautioned New Yorkers to withhold judgment about the case until all the facts are in.
As for Sharpton, Newsweek quoted him as saying that he wants Neely’s death investigated “as a potential case of manslaughter if not murder.” What else would you expect Al Sharpton to say? Sharpton compared the case to the Bernhard Goetz case in 1984, when Goetz, a white man, was convicted of a weapons offense after shooting four black men on a NYC subway train.
“We cannot end up back to a place where vigilantism is tolerable,” Sharpton said. “It wasn’t acceptable then and it cannot be acceptable now.”
Sharpton and his cohorts have now branded Penny a vigilante.
This convenient stick-on label got New York’s governor to say that “Neely’s family deserves justice,” an ambiguous phrase loaded with BLM imagery – “No Justice, No Peace” – with the additional overlay of American cities burning in 2020.
That call has been taken up by veteran 2020 rioters, who have been in a dormant state since George Floyd was a household name. Now that the race card buzzer has gone off, one can see them springing into action: See them jump onto the tracks and blocking subway trains at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
See them with megaphones and protest signs:
“Jordan Neely’s death was a lynching!”
“Justice 4 Jordan Neely—Murdered!”
The Left desperately wants a new George Floyd, a new race divider martyr/hero to keep the race war going.
The Neely incident caused Candace Owens to remark that the nation needs to bring back insane asylums. “Mentally well people are now being told to yield to mentally ill people,” she said in a YouTube podcast that was packed with triple viewing warnings from leftist YouTube brass.
Owens stated that the Left wants us to believe that “Homeless people are all suffering and all they want is food,” when the reality is quite the opposite. Nearly 100% of the homeless in big cities, especially New York, are drug-addled individuals who were not made homeless because they couldn’t pay their mortgage or rent.
While drug addiction is no excuse to mistreat the homeless, they should not be “romanticized” either.
But this is what Sara Newman, director of organizing at the New York’s Open Hearts Initiative, an advocacy group for homeless shelter residents, seems to be suggesting when she said, “Jordan Neely’s murder is the direct result of efforts to dehumanize and demonize New Yorkers who are experiencing homelessness, living with mental illness or just existing in the world as Black and poor.”
In my Philadelphia neighborhood, the vast majority of the drug-addicted homeless are poor and white.
In the coming weeks, we are likely to see Daniel Penny turned into a villain by mainstream media outlets, especially as leftists pump fuel into their demands that he be punished as a lesson and warning to other wannabe “vigilantes” who might jump into action the way Penny did on May 1.
That message will be simple: If the perceived trouble-maker is black and you are white, the best option is to stay seated and do nothing.
The end goal here is to make it illegal to defend yourself or anyone else from the black thugs roaming the streets like feral animals..
Ginger Li says
IMO, Neely was a terrorist, who was in the business of provoking people with threatening behavior. If he could create a reaction, he wins. It’s behavior women are wont to use against spouses, boyfriends, men-folk, etc. If they can provoke a physical response, they win. Men are well advised to put distance between themselves and these types. OTOH, it’s very difficult to find another way to get to work in order to avoid some psychotic loser yelling in you face on a public conveyance. With 40 arrests, the public nuisance Neely should have been prohibited from ever going onto a subway train.
J stone says
Where is the prosecution of Bill DiBlasio for dumping criminally insane from Ward’s Island for kickbacks?
Where is the investigation of fraud and embezzlement of Bill DiBlasio and Carmen McCrae for the 1.2 Billion dollars that disappeared from ThriveNYC that was supposed to help people like Neely and the other people dumped out of Ward’s Island (institute for the Criminally Insane)?
Michael Lofton says
The normal & sane are officially at the mercy of protected classes: the insane
& various miscreants evolving
Having been on the D.C. Metro when mentally ill people cooked off, I can assure anyone who hasn’t had this experience that is very scary. There you are in a moving train in a tunnel underground with a raving lunatic making threats. You do not know if he has a gun or a knife and intends to use it. And intends to use it on you. For my money Mr. Penny or someone else could have shot Neely and it would be fine with me. At some point our society has to come to the view that people other than the mentally ill and those who cannot seem to conform their behavior to the requirements of law have rights, too.
Michael Lofton says
How about a recent photo of Neely. & The report on the woman who’s orbital bone he smashed.
If the hero had also been black, I am sure the protests would have been non existent. If everyone involved had been white, there would have been nary a peep. If the perp had been white and the hero black – again we would have had a screaming silence in response! The protests and complaints are ONLY because of the racial makeup of those involved.
The family of Neely is now all screaming. They rationalize/explain his mom was killed 16 years ago, and he was permanently traumatized! Where were they before this week? Why did they not provide a home! Why didn’t they work on getting him the mental support he needed? Only now with visions of dollar bills (or visions of $100 dollar bills) dancing in front of them are they crawling out of the woodwork!
What does the autopsy on Neely show? I am BETTING, drug overdose. But we are not going to see that or it would ruin the narrative.
Lawyers, judges and lawgivers are not the solution for society’s problems. Lawyers, judges and lawgivers are the CAUSE of society’s problems.
Humans who go into these “careers”, make fortunes by causing derision. There is no money in peace, only in litigation.
I will remember their crimes, and I will teach my children and grandchildren, to see the evil they cause, and if the time comes, make sure they pay for their crimes against humanity.
The Democrats scream “murder” but they don’t give a damn about Jordan Neely. They ignore the hundreds of blacks killed intentionally by other blacks every day but can’t stop talking about it when any black is killed by a white person.
They’ve kept blacks on the Democrat “plantation” ever since the sixties when LBJ’s “Great Society” welfare programs monetized single parent families and now 75% of all black children are born and raised by only one parent. And, don’t bother to call me a racist because every single Sociological and Psychological study ever done shows that children from single parent homes are more likely to drop out of school, join gangs, do drugs, commit crimes and end up incarcerated. That, not the invented term of systemic racism, is what’s responsible for the over representation of blacks in prison Worse, our inept public school system continues to fail to teach basic math and reading skills but promotes CRT that says blacks can never succeed and it’s OK for them to be forever victims; thus perpetuating the never ending cycle of crime and poverty. The biggest tragedy is that they continue to elect the lying, race baiting Democrats (as they just did in Chicago) so it appears the big Democrat controlled cities will just continue to deteriorate into third world hell holes.
Liberals are wackos. I will NEVER go to New York City or any other large liberal city where criminals run the city. Daniel Perry is a hero. Al Sharpton is a racist.
David Ray says
Those easily manipulated idiots holding signs “Justice for Jordan Neely!” should be advised that the street-trash WAS given justice.
He was a low-life who got what he deserved.
That justice was meeted out by a moral man who was willing to step up and defend the others on that subway – others ignored & betrayed by criminal enablers like Hochul & Bragg. (Hochul & Bragg are also low-lifes, but with a high salary.)
Kynarion Hellenis says
Stay seated and do nothing? The police will do nothing. The courts will do nothing. Should we just meekly acquiesce to the taking of our lives, our property, our peace and physical wellbeing?
If we can be assaulted, robbed and killed with impunity, and there is no protection or redress, how can we be blamed for fighting in defense of ourselves or others? The only logical answer is that some lives are more worthy than others, and mine is not among those. Those unworthy lives also bear the burden of paying taxes which are increasingly redistributed to support the more worthy lives that can assault and kill with impunity.
Does this sound like slavery to anyone?
John Sweet says
Simpler alternate scenario: just change the race of the mentally ill person or the subduer. To quote Phil Ochs, it wouldn’t be a story “Outside a Small Circle of Friends”.