Rick Moran, American Thinker, June 5, 2017
After weeks of promising to march in the annual Puerto Rican Day parade despite the fact that the person being honored is a convicted terrorist bomber, New York mayor Bill de Blasio now says he would have backed out and not participated.
His announcement comes after the terrorist, FALN bomber Oscar López Rivera, declined the invitation to be honored.
After weeks of promising to march in the Puerto Rican Day Parade even if it honored Oscar Lopez Rivera, Mayor de Blasio insisted Monday that he was simply being “diplomatic” in public.
Lopez Rivera declined the honor of “National Freedom Hero” last week – and now de Blasio says he’d told the parade committee that if the FALN leader remained an honoree, he wouldn’t have been part of the parade.
“I made clear to them that I was uncomfortable with the situation, and I wanted them to resolve it, and really believed they could resolve it,” de Blasio said at a press conference in Queens. “But if it wasn’t resolved, I wasn’t going to (be) comfortable being a part of it.”
That certainly wasn’t what de Blasio said publicly when asked repeatedly, at length, about Lopez Rivera.
“Sometimes to get something done you hold your tongue in public,” he said.
But de Blasio hadn’t exactly kept his lips zipped – he spoke at length about the parade, insisting he’d march even as others like Gov. Cuomo and Police Commissioner James O’Neill vowed to stay away, deeming Lopez Rivera a “terrorist.”
“I have made my views known to the parade committee. You guys had asked me different questions, I had been, diplomatic let’s say, in the answering of those questions because I believed the parade committee was seriously trying to grapple with the issue and I wanted to give them some space to do it,” de Blasio said today.
“I’m very happy that Mr. Lopez Rivera has declined the honor,” he continued. “I don’t think it should have been offered to him. I think it’s good that he declined it because it was entirely distracting to the issue at hand which is Puerto Rico.”
In the annals of political double-talk, de Blasio’s statement ranks right up there.
It’s nice that de Blasio could be so “diplomatic” when discussing his participation in a parade honoring a convicted terrorist. We wouldn’t want him to be “undiplomatic” and do the right thing by declining the invitation immediately and without reservation.
Just whom does de Blasio think he would be “offending” if he wasn’t “diplomatic”? Most Puerto Ricans have disavowed Rivera’s tactics and his actions, although he is admired for being a patriot. President Obama’s pandering clemency of Rivera was to be expected, given his radical views, but it’s a mystery why de Blasio would have risked embracing Rivera’s notoriety.
If nothing else, de Blasio’s blatant pandering shows the futility of trying to please ethnic and racial minorities, regardless of the circumstances. In four referenda on the subject of Puerto Rican independence, a majority have always voted to remain with the U.S. Another referendum is set for this coming Sunday, where, once again, Puerto Ricans are expected to solidly reject independence for the island.
In the end, de Blasio’s pandering was unnecessary and embarrassing.