by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
For those of you who thought that New York had somehow changed its stripes and become more open, positive, tolerant and sophisticated, now that Bill deBlasio is Mayor, and the first lady is Black, guess again. It’s as much a police state now as it was under Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Case in point is this not so hidden vendetta against my sister/friend and colleague Rachel Noerdlinger. One of the most positive, organized, professional women on the planet – Rachel has proven herself in the field over and over again – however, the NYPD have made her a target of their considerable lopsided vengeance because she has a boyfriend who has a particular gripe against them – one they probably deserve by the way – and have made her the target for removal.
They’ve piled up bogus evidence that is supposed to show that she is not competent – parking tickets, back taxes, etc – what they really show is like many of us, prior to coming into this position, Rachel was “broke.” It happens to most Black people in the New York City area who have been routinely underpaid and overcharged for everything. None of that has anything to do with Rachel’s professionalism. Nor does any opinion that her boyfriend have. In point of fact, this being a society of free speech, she can hardly be held responsible for his opinions.
The interesting thing is this is a new form of transparency – it’s is crystal clear that the NYPD are harassing Rachel. It’s also crystal clear that Black women need to be much more vocal and supportive and demonstrative about backing her up. The “minor” infraction of “trespassing” launched against her son Khari, is clearly the NYPD showing her that they can get her or her family and that they are perfectly willing to make her life a living hell. The arresting officer should be penalized for even having brought the young man in, and demoted or desk-dutied to show that these kinds of actions will not be tolerated.
First lady Chirlane McCray should definitely not allow her to take an unpaid leave of absence, but make sure she has all she needs while she reorders her life; and make sure that she is allowed to return as her chief of staff – after all she’s done nothing wrong and has performed admirably in this position. It’s up to both the Mayor and First Lady to nip this in the bud and take a stand against the machinations of the NYPD to make NYC a police state. The NYPD is full of officers who have committed egregious acts against humanity who have gotten nothing more than a slap on the wrist, a desk job, and a PAID LEAVE of absence while things are being worked out. Rachel deserves as much consideration, and even more respect.
Commissioner Bratton, who said he would be a different kind of commissioner this time around, needs to get his boys in blue in check. Or step down and let someone who is more competent and capable do so. It’s unprofessional on the part of New York’s Finest to behave as though they were thugs, not put here to “protect and serve.”
While the National Action Network (NAN) is understandably dealing with other pressing issues, there definitely needs to be some serious attention paid to what is happening to Rachel Noerdlinger, so they can stop any further incursions to prevent her from doing her job in the fine, professional manner that she’s always done. While rallying for the brothers and sisters in Ferguson is of the utmost importance, so is the rally for Rachel Noerdlinger – one who has worked for and among the organization for years. Charity and action begins at home.
In the face of outrageous attitudes and behaviors totally unbefitting the cultural capital of the world, New York City needs to get a grip and get it together, and get RACHEL NOERDLINGER BACK ON THE JOB – post haste.
Stay Blessed &
bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com