As the nation begins to reopen its businesses and economy, people are excited to get back out there, get the kids out of the house, and get some good ole fresh air and sunshine. But in NYC, that’s not precisely allowed as of yet, at least for those in the Jewish communities.
And let’s just say the city isn’t happy about the mayor’s double standards.
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the NYC Parks and Recreation Department to weld shut a community playground in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. And so they did.
According to the department’s press officer Anessa Hodgson, all parks and playgrounds within the city were still closed in the effort to keep NYC’s children safe. However, this one had recently been “breached.” Therefore, further, “temporary” measures were needed to keep families out.
I don’t know about you, but welding something shut doesn’t exactly sound “temporary” to me. And it must not have too much of the community either, because later that same day, the department was back saying that the gate to the park would be “unwelded and replaced with a lock.”
However, this did little to satisfy the community, which, might I add, is one of the largest Jewish neighborhoods in the city. Instead, it only served to give them and the surrounding communities all the proof they needed of de Blasio’s double standards.
Now, as we all know, Hizzoner has always had a stretched relationship with Jews, causing many to say that he is racist and anti-Semitic. While being a strong supporter of the BDS movement against Israel, he has also taken particular ‘liberties’ with the Jewish communities of New York on more than one occasion.
In April, he called them out on social media after the funeral of a recently passed and well-known Jewish priest was reported to have less than ideal social distancing practices. He told them that the time for “warnings has passed,” and went on to threaten them with summons and arrests if they were found to be in large groups.
Then in May, one of the few things he made a public point to close down was a yeshiva class. And now, the only park that he seems to have a problem with is one that is most frequented by the Hasidic community members.
And leaders of the Jewish communities of New York have had enough.
So on Monday, after the weld was replaced with a lock, they took bolt cutters to said lock and chain, in apparent protest to the mayor’s double standard.
They noted that if de Blasio could encourage citizens of New York to come out by the thousands in protest to march for the recent Black Lives Matter transgender rally, which occurred in Brooklyn only the day before, then surely it was safe for their kids to play outside for a bit.
Besides, reports have come in for some time now that other parks and playgrounds in the city are open. Pictures and videos of children playing on New York parks are posted all over social media as the weather has warmed.
And yet the Jewish children, according to de Blasio, shouldn’t be allowed the same satisfaction.
Leading the cutting of the lock were a few elected officials, who represent some of the Jewish neighborhoods. And these officials, including a state senator, didn’t stop with this one park.
In fact, the band of leaders traveled around the borough, cutting the locks and opening the gates to park after park.
Their message to the mayor, which was said in a joint statement, “Individually, each of us exhausted every avenue of diplomacy in our effort to open our playgrounds… if they lock these gates, we will cut them open again tomorrow, because we serve the people, Who do you serve, Mr. Mayor?”
Naturally, the mayor, in his pomp and hypocrisy, wasn’t about to be outdone by the group. So what did he do? He sent police officers to arrest the men.
As one Twitter user noted sarcastically, “I’m sure you’d do this to any other Councilman, Assemblyman, and State Senator.” Not.
There were a few elected officials who participated in the BLM protest the day before that were clearly breaking the law, as was the mayor himself, by not following social distancing guidelines. But their actions were somehow deemed as ok.
Getting our children back outside and in the sunshine where they can build their immune systems, on the other hand, is apparently not.