Saturday, October 15, 2011
- A Dysfunctional Act
Rudy On The Protesters:
“Sleeping on the streets is a dysfunctional act. It harms the person, it harms society, it leads to unsanitary conditions that affect public health,” added Giuliani. “The first one who decided to sleep there should have been removed and then the second one, and the third one, and the fourth one and the fifth one.” “They can protest during the daytime if they want to, but if you want to stay over in New York City overnight, you got to rent a room, and if you’re homeless we got plenty of shelters for you,”
In 1991 during the Dinkins administration, I was shot at while walking through that block long underground tunnel that runs under 14th street between the Path trains at 6th avenue and the red line trains at 7th. It was about 8:00 at night and I was walking east. I had gotten about 1/3 of the way through the tunnel when some mixed race kid ran into it behind me followed by another kid who cut loose 5 rapid shots at him.
Ping Ping Ping, was all we heard as the bullets bounced and skipped along the tunnel walls past us, while we bystanders all dove onto the filthy concrete floor. I remember very clearly a matronly looking Latina woman hunching over her two kids about 30 feet from me in an effort to shield them from harm. No one made a sound until it was all over, and then the screaming began. But miraculously, no one was hit, not even the kid who was the target.
After his shots were fired, the shooter spun on his heels and ran back the way he came. Oddly, the kid who was the target paused for a few seconds, and then followed him back the same way - both of them leaving by the 7th avenue entrance or getting on a train. I never went back there to check. We bystanders spent a few moments confirming that none of us was hurt, and then went about our business with a bone chilling story to tell.
The strangest part of the story though was that it didn't make the papers, and wasn't reported on the news. One more shooting in the New York City run by David Dinkins wasn't newsworthy - especially if no one got hurt. There were 2,245 murders in there in 1990 and nearly as many in 1991, so unless there was a pool of blood, the media would simply ignore it. I went by there a few years later to see if I could find any trace of where the bullets had hit the walls but I didn't see anything. It was as if this moment where I could have certainly lost my life but for a little luck, had never even happened.
Just a few years later, in 1995 after Rudy Giuliani had been Mayor for a few years, the city was so much safer that I rented an apartment overlooking the river at 48th st and 8th avenue. Times square had been cleaned up by then, and was so safe that I was happy to live there. During the Dinkins administration it was whorehouses, porn theaters and sex shops, but Rudy made it into a venue suitable for families and tourists.
My point is, if Rudy says arrest the protesters, I'd be inclined to agree with him. Yes he's anti-gun; yes he has a sloppy personal life; yes he's been seen at least one too many times in a dress. But I know from experience that the man knows how to keep the streets safe. And no one is every going to be able to convince me otherwise.