One might assume that as a black man and mayor of one of the largest and most violent cities in the U.S. at this point in time, Eric Adams would be all for Black Lives Matter and what it supposedly represents. However, over the past few months since he’s taken up residency in Gracie Mansion, it’s become painfully obvious he doesn’t much respect the group.
Why? Well, as he made clear in a recent press conference, he, like the rest of America, has quickly learned that they are led by a bunch of “hypocrites.”
The statement came after another particularly bloody week in New York City. During one incident on Tuesday, ten people were shot in a subway car in Brooklyn. And this was only one of a dozen or so other similar situations taking place around the city that week.
Adams is sick of it, to be clear. And as he says, BLM should be, too. Yet, there wasn’t one protest on the streets of NYC to oppose such violence, despite the fact that most of the victims were black.
Now, as he pointed out, most of the shooters were also black. But that shouldn’t matter.
While speaking on cable news station NY1 on Wednesday, he said, “I thought black lives mattered. Where are all those who stated black lives matter?”
He went on, telling the city, “If black lives matter, then the thousands of people I saw on the street when (George) Floyd was murdered should be on the streets right now, stating that the lives of these black children that are dying every night matter. We can’t be hypocrites.”
And he’s right, isn’t he?
I mean, if black lives really matter to BLM, why aren’t they in the streets protesting these obscene acts of violence? Why aren’t they out in throngs trying to change the fact that, as Adams says, there are mere children “on our streets armed with guns at 12:00 or 1:00 a.m.?”
It’s a question that should be directly put to New York City BLM leader and co-founder Hawk Newsome. And indeed, it already has been. But Newsome seems reluctant to do anything because his problem is apparently not that black kids are getting shot up in the streets but that Adams brought back policing measures designed to mitigate violence.
As you may know, following the death of Floyd in Minneapolis and the outpouring of support for the nearly forgotten “defund the police” movement, then-NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio cut funding to the NYPD as well as disbanded plainclothes-officer units created to fight crime in the city. As a mayoral candidate and then mayor-elect, Adams promised to recommission those units in an effort to bring law and order back to NYC.
Unsurprisingly, Newsome wasn’t too fond of the idea.
In fact, after having a sit down with Adams on the subject, during which the mayor made clear he would not budge on keeping his promises, Newsome threatened to “take to the streets again. There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed….”
And there has been – bloodshed, that is. But not because of rioting, fires, and protesting. No, it’s just been because of an increase in crime rates all around. According to Politico and NYPD statistics from last month, “major” crimes are up some 44 percent from last year. And shootings in the city have nearly doubled since 2019, with no sign of slowing down.
Yet, BLM stays silent.
Newsome does say that the group is working on a plan. It’s called the “Black Opportunities” program. Apparently, it works to install “de-escalation” trained personnel and neighborhood patrols into communities, with the idea that this will not only reduce shootings but also the community’s reliance on law enforcement.
Now, to be clear, the idea isn’t a completely horrible one, and I wish them all the best. However, as Adams has made clear, if BLM wants to really make some changes, they also need to be publicly decrying the violence, as they did when it mattered for political reasons.
Black lives cannot matter solely when they prove some sort of political point or can be exploited for increased power and money. And if those like Newsome can’t see that, he and his band of followers truly are hypocrites.