Wednesday, December 21, 2005

TWU going to play the race card.

Nation: Mass transit strike is not going the union's way, so lets place the racism card.

NEW YORK - The war of words over the transit strike took an ugly turn after Mayor Michael Bloomberg described union heads as "thuggish," a remark some said was racist in the context of a predominantly black union. During his first briefing on the strike Tuesday at City Hall, Bloomberg complained that union leaders had "thuggishly turned their backs on New York City and disgraced the noble concept of public service." A group of City Council members and black leaders said Wednesday that Bloomberg's comment was racist because it was directed at leaders of a union that is less than 30 percent white. "We resent the idea that you would characterize a predominantly black and Latino union as a bunch of thugs," said City Councilman Charles Barron. Ed Skyler, the mayor's spokesman, replied: "It's despicable to inject race into this situation."
Actually I can characterize unions as a bunch of thugs regardless of race and in this particular case that is what the public's perception of TWU's actions, thuggish. It has nothing to do with race and the fact you have to try and play it shows you have little on your side to stress your case.
The Rev. Herbert Daughtry, an influential black minister, said the mayor, governor and MTA leaders were risking comparisons to Eugene "Bull" Connor. The Birmingham, Ala., segregationist police commissioner turned fire hoses and police dogs on black civil rights marchers in 1963. Daughtry said Bloomberg was using as his "bully club" the state law prohibiting strikes by public employees. "Be cautious how you use the law to beat people into submission," Daughtry said. In the past, Barron and Daughtry have used the word "thug" to describe white attackers involved in bias crimes. Barron stressed that the context of the predominantly black union is what made Bloomberg's comment racially insensitive.
Now you know they are morally,legally bankrupt if they have to pull out segregation to try and put MYC officials on the defensive. There is nothing racially insensitive calling you thuggish or a thug.
Transport Workers Union President Roger Toussaint stopped short of joining the accusations of racism, but said Wednesday that the "thuggish" remark showed the mayor's "lack of respect" for his members. "We wake up at three and four in the morning to move trains in this town," Toussaint said. "That's not the behavior of thugs and selfish people."
Excuse me? They wake up at three and four in the morning because that is in their damn job description. You are not doing anyone favors or performing a miracle Toussaint. You think those people getting on the subways at three or four in the morning that I guess should be honored by your presence are going on vacation every day? What a bunch of selfish, stupid thugs.

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