Just get out of the way

CHRISTINA GREER PH.D | 8/8/2019, 2:59 p.m.
My frustration and anger with Mayor de Blasio is growing more and more palpable by the day.
Mayor Bill de Blasio Bill Moore photo

My frustration and anger with Mayor de Blasio is growing more and more palpable by the day. After witnessing his less than stellar performance last week at the Democratic primary debates, I have come to the conclusion that it is either time for de Blasio to bring himself back home and get to work for the next two years or just resign and get out of the way so others can actually do the work of governing his great city.

When de Blasio was asked his stance on Eric Garner’s death at the hands of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in last weeks’ Detroit, MI democratic primary debates, he immediately punted and tried to pose the question to former Vice President Joe Biden. Yes, the mayor of NYC—since his election in November 2013 and Eric Garner’s death on tape in July 2014—tried to frame the problem as the responsibility of solely the federal government and their lack of oversight.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The mayor of NYC who had and still has the power to instruct his Police Commissioner O’Neil to fire Officer Pantaleo has sat on his hands for five years and has not intervened in any capacity. In that time, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, has suffered the filmed murder of her son, the death of her granddaughter, and most recently the loss of her husband, a man who has been by her side in the streets and courtrooms as she seeks justice for her son.

In my estimation, Mayor de Blasio should feel responsible for all three of those deaths. His inaction has shaken a woman’s family to its core and left a community feeling abandoned and utterly discarded while he crisscrosses the country on a mission to become the executive of the United States. Here’s a thought, finish some of the projects you started at home here in NYC and maybe you’ll earn the support of New Yorkers as you seek higher office.

I will be the first to admit that I was excited about a new era of Democratic politics heralded by de Blasio’s 2013 win. Needless to say, as I watched him on the debate stage give miscellaneous facts about lead abatement in NYCHA housing, my blood boiled thinking of the wasted promises and empty rhetoric. I am a college professor and this mayor has the worst case of senioritis that I have ever seen. Sadly for New Yorkers, we have two more years of his mayoralty to deal with his inaction, distractions and downright disinterest in governance.

My patience level has evaporated. It is time for de Blasio to step up for the citizens of New York City or get out of the way. I can think of a few smart New Yorkers who are ready to take the lead.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” the co-host of the new podcast FAQ-NYC, and the host of The Aftermath and The Counter on Ozy.com.