On Sunday broadcast of MSNBC’s “Weekends,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on five people being stabbed in an attack at a synagogue in New York’s Rockland County.
De Blasio said, “For the last three years in this country the forces of hate have been unleashed, and we see more and more violence associated with those hateful impulses. Some of it organized and premeditated. The uptick in hate crimes in this city has led the NYPD to recognize we’ve got to get under the skin of these trends and see if they can disrupt them.”
He continued, “We’ve also known for years that there are white supremacists forces that are organizing to do violence. We know about the militias in some parts of the country. They’ve targeted law enforcement. These right-wing militias have targeted law enforcement for years in this country. Unfortunately, that trend is growing, that form of extremism. We’ve got to be able to track it and disrupt it in a way that, honestly, we didn’t face before in the city, nor much of the country. But let’s be honest, the last three years everything has changed. Once hate gets normalized, it spreads like wildfire, and it takes a more violent form, and we’ve got to stop it now before we end up making the wrong kind of history.”
He added, “It’s not a time for a partisan discussion, but it is a time to say some of the most hateful speech is emanating from Washington, D.C. What we need our president to do is be a unifier, a calming positive voice, reminding us of what we have in common as Americans. That’s what presidents have done for generations. We’ve missed that. And the hateful speech even if it’s not inciting specific violence, let’s face it, we have seen these violent forces emboldened. We saw it in Charlottesville. We’ve seen it all over the country. And we’ve got to be honest about it without falling into a partisan battle to say something is different in recent years. I’ll be the first to say there were other problems before that. There were campus shootings and other horrible things, but the connection to racial and ethnic motivation, that has been growing in the last few years, and that’s what we’ve got to stop.”
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