When asked if he'd run for office again, Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York City, responded: "No! The people of New York threw me out of office, and now they must be punished."[How the GOP Got Here by An NRO Symposium on National Review Online]This is worrisome, and in the sense that anything you say about Obama is a gaffe, arguably a racist remark. (At least by the standards of the NR-backed Trent Lott brouhaha.) You see, Koch was succeeded by the first black Mayor of New York, David Dinkins. How bad was Dinkins? Here's what an official NYC.gov site has to say:
Dinkins' inauguration speech was punctuated with references to oppression, human rights, and the need for equality. He vowed to be "mayor of all the people of New York," and declared: "We are all foot soldiers on the march to freedom."And how badly were the people of New York punished? Well, during one year of Dinkins term, their were 2262 murders. That's not as bad as South Africa where the "bells of freedom" are ringing, but it's pretty bad.
Dinkins helped fulfill his prediction that the "bells of freedom will ring in South Africa" by being a national voice in favor of anti-apartheid sanctions. He fought to have the city divest itself of $500 million worth of pension fund stock invested in companies that do business in South Africa and secured passage of a bill that allowed the city to rate banks on their opposition to apartheid. Among his other accomplishments were creating the office of Special Commissioner of Investigations for schools, creating a system of after hour youth centers called Beacon Schools, and working to create an all civilian police complaint review board.
Known for his reserved public demeanor, Dinkins was sharply criticized for his handling of racial strife in Crown Heights, a boycott of Korean Grocers in Brooklyn and civil unrest in Washington Heights. Dinkins faced a $1.8 billion budget deficit when he entered office which grew to $2.2 billion by the time he left office. The economy remained sluggish throughout his term, preventing the enactment of much of his agenda.