Leftists in New York City are lamenting that they cannot call Mayor Eric Adams (D) — who is black — racist without looking silly, while some speculate that white progressives in the Big Apple are holding back their opinions out of fear of being perceived as racists.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that union leaders, officials with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and even elected assembly members find themselves in a quandary for wanting to criticize Adams for his policies on crime, yet cannot rely on accusations of racism to make their point. In one example, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker of Brooklyn, a black woman, complained that Adams’ proposed police reforms were similar to former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s.
“At least when it was Giuliani, we had a finger to point at him to say: ‘He’s racist and this isn’t fair,’” Walker said. “But how do you do that when the mayor is a Black man?”
Other black activists, such as Anthonine Pierre, director of the non-profit Brooklyn Movement Center, speculated that white leftists were self-censoring their objections to Adams out of fear of being accused of bigotry.
“I think white people know that they can’t really speak right now against Eric because they are going to look like racists,” Pierre told The Times. “Particularly in an age of internet political correctness, I think people who are not Black are very apprehensive about saying anything.”
Jeremy Cohan, who is white, is co-chair of the city’s Democratic Socialists of America branch. Cohan suggested to The Times that black leftists are morally superior, which is why non-black leftists have been staying silent.
“Black progressives definitely speak with an air of moral authority,” Cohan said. “In politics, there’s shared experiences and shared interests. I think our belief in D.S.A. is that we need political leaders that have both of those things.”
According to The Times, Cohan is hoping that with Adams’ declining approval rating in recent months, people of all races will feel more comfortable expressing their opinions.
“What actual improvements of working people and peoples of color lives have you shown?” Cohan remarked about Adams. “Nothing much to speak of.”
In reaction to the story, numerous individuals on Twitter pointed out that the comments featured in the article were revealing while arguing that often leftist criticism of the right is based on racism and prejudice — not actual policy-based objections.
“It’s almost as if… instead of just pointing fingers and calling names we should… *learn how to advocate for policies we like*,” Lyndsey Fifield responded.
It’s almost as if… instead of just pointing fingers and calling names we should… *learn how to advocate for policies we like*
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) July 26, 2022
National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty tweeted, “When you say it out loud.”
When you say it out loud. https://t.co/tGFZh2q4pQ
— Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) July 23, 2022
“Says a lot,” The Daily Sneed, a popular account with more than 15,000 followers said. “This stupid kind of prejudiced mentality is more common than one would like to imagine.”