THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Law and order views serve Cuomo well

THE ISSUE THAT MANY of my readers and listeners are curious about is whether or not those who are looting and stealing during the ongoing protests should get a free pass. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo certainly doesn’t think so. There has been a major blowup between New York Mayor de Blasio and Andrew and Andrew has taken the position that the head of his largest city is not doing his job. In fact, he went far enough to suggest that he could use his authority as governor to take over for de Blasio. I asked him about it when I got the chance and he made it clear that he wasn’t going to do so. Nevertheless, it was absolutely clear that from the moment he issued his warning to the mayor, things changed noticeably. The message was received. So why is Andrew putting his law and order credentials out front? He’ll probably read this and he won’t be happy but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

It’s pretty plain to me that Cuomo can be taken at his word that he is not interested in the presidency this time around. But Andrew Cuomo isn’t governor because he has no ambition. On the contrary, he is a politician of the first order. It’s like playing a pinball machine. You know that the game will come to an end and the last thing you want is to see the word “tilt” if you play too hard. But to win a “free game” you go to the end. What’s in it for Andrew? Well, we have a Democratic presidential candidate in Joe Biden who, assuming that he wins, is not expected to run for a second term. That brings us to the election of 2024 and if Andrew is going to be president, that will be his time. Naturally, whichever woman Biden chooses as his running mate will expect to succeed him and Andrew will have to run against her in a primary. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Racism starts at the top

A LONG TIME AGO, I was hired to be an assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The then president of the college, Don Riddle, gave me as a sort of present to the then police commissioner, Patrick V. Murphy, who had as one of his missions the slimming down of the police force. Put another way he thought his cops were just too fat.

Anyway, that didn’t work but I did get to spend a lot of time in my office at the police headquarters, which was then in an old building on Center Street. I got to meet a lot of cops and I liked most of them. They were easy to talk to and they knew that they had hard jobs. In fact, they were doing the out-front work in a racist society that has consigned people of color to the economic and social underclass in America. As a result, it was their job to clean up after the rest of the country. We’ve all heard about “the thin blue line” that requires cops to stick together. Many people think that the police are the problem but, in fact, they are just the point guards for a racist society. Donald Trump knows that and has figured out a way to excite his base and to more than hint to them that they should perpetuate his racist ideology.

I have an African-American grandson who I adore. He is six years old, bright, funny and talented. Given a chance, he has a fabulous future ahead of him. His single father, my son Jonas, and I know that we live in a country in which, when that child grows up a little and goes for a run in a white neighborhood, two goons with guns may think that it is their right to shoot him down. We know that white privilege is omnipresent in this racist society. If he finds himself in Central Park where there is a dog leash law and asks a white woman, very respectfully, to keep her dog on a leash, we know that she may pick up the phone and call the police because a black man has asked her to obey the law. Sure, she has apologized but that story is one of thousands. Read more…