2001-11-10 / Columnists

From The G-Man

By Gary G. Toms

A Parting Message For "Julie"

Hey people! Well, it looks like we have to deal with Mike Bloomberg for the next four years come this January. I give him credit because I’m sure many people thought he didn’t have a chance to beat Mark Green, but a few political miscues made Green look like the captain of the ill-fated Titanic. I’m not at all sure what Bloomberg’s victory will mean for the future of the city, but one thing is very clear. "Julie’s" days in office are numbered, and I would like to make a few suggestions on what he should do before he leaves City Hall.

The first thing he should do is take part in a speaking engagement in a number of minority communities. Go around to the churches, tenant associations and community councils to let them know that you have nothing against Blacks or other groups that he has had a strained relationship with during his tenure. Yes, some will jeer him if he even thinks about walking through these neighborhoods, but it could help to formulating some type of understanding between him and the minority community.

The next thing he should do is invite Ellen Degeneres, City Council representative Tom Duane, and a host of other prominent members of the gay community to dinner at one of the most lavish and popular restaurants in the city. Afterwards, since he has this thing for panty hose, he should dress in drag and hit several of the underground clubs with his invited dinner guests. Don’t let the toupee fool you. I’m sure Julie knows how to get his freak on. Can you imagine him dancing to Michael Jackson’s latest, "You Rock My World?" Go Julie, go Julie! It’s your birthday; it’s your birthday!

Instead of imposing curfews and criticizing the people who honor the passing of Beatles-great John Lennon each year, in Strawberry Field at midnight, the mayor should show up at the vigil, light a candle in honor of Lennon, and hug the fans. He has come off as extremely insensitive to the legacy of Lennon and the Beatles fans in recent years, and being part of the ceremony would illustrate that he does share in the pain and grief felt by many of Lennon’s followers.

Given the circumstances and the aftermath of the Amadou Diallo shooting, the mayor would bridge an enormous gap between himself and the African community if he contacted the Diallo family and arranged a meeting with them in City Hall to issue a public apology and express sadness over the death of their son. If he really wanted to be remembered as a man of dignity, honor and compassion, he could take it a step further by traveling to Ghana, in West Africa, with Diallo’s parents, to pray over the gravesite of Amadou Diallo. Some may view that as an extremely difficult act for the mayor to undertake, but after his stoic performance during and after the World Trade Center attack, visiting Diallo’s grave should not be as difficult as it may have been in the past.

This is the month for Thanksgiving, and there are plenty of people who will not have the benefit of eating a deliciously roasted turkey or sweet potato pie. They are called homeless. While many will go hungry on that day, shelters will do their best to provide a hot and tasty meal to those who have no family and no friends. It would be wonderful to see the mayor show up at a number of the shelters to serve and share a meal with those that many feel he has distain for. Speaking from experience, acts like this warm the heart, and I’m sure that even a man that comes across as hard as he does would develop a renewed compassion for the plight of these forgotten people.

Finally, the mayor should invite Donna Hanover and his kids onto the steps of City Hall to issue a public apology to them for the ridiculous way he handled the announcement of their separation and pending divorce. It doesn’t matter who was at fault for screwing up the marriage, the fact is he is a public figure, the situation got out of hand, and he should have taken a leadership position and put the clamps on any discussion of the situation. A real man finds no shame in saying, "I have shown disfavor to my wife and children through the manner in which I handled my separation, and for that I am truly sorry. My life as mayor is public, and I should not have allowed my family to become fodder for the media by engaging in a public battle with my wife."

Although I have not been a strong supporter of the mayor, I do believe he has made the city better, from an economic standpoint. When you look at social issues, many will say this is where he has failed miserably, including me.

"He doesn’t care about the poor, the homeless, minorities, gays or artistic culture. He only cares about the rich and making New York City a city of the wealthy." This is the sentiment of many, and if he went the extra mile to do what was suggested in this article, it would go a long way in supporting the argument that Rudolph Giuliani was the greatest mayor in the history of New York City.

See you next week!

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