Boston mayor Marty Walsh has shown how it can be done, cobbling together a deal with parade organizers and gay groups allowing them to march in the Southie St.Patrick’s parade and everyone to act with dignity.
No such luck in New York.
New York mayor Bill De Blasio made no effort to reconcile the two groups before bluntly announcing he was not marching up Fifth Avenue.
He was also a no-show at the Rockaway Saint Patrick’s parade, his latest slight on the Irish.
Rockaway is not just any parade, it is ground zero for one of the worst disasters in the modern era – Hurricane Sandy, where people were most affected by the storm.
De Blasio marched last year, waving his tricolor and surely the residents, many of whom are still suffering terribly, would have appreciated his presence this year too.
But it was not to be. No doubt the mayor had other priorities on a cold and brisk Saturday, such as warming himself beside a fire maybe. His public schedule showed no events.
He is marching today with the St.Patrick’s For All parade in Queens which, let’s face it, resembles other parades the way I resemble Brad Pitt.
Well done to the Lavender and Green Alliance who organized the parade and whose star turn is drag queen Panti, but let’s not confuse it with a traditional Irish parade.
Fact is De Blasio to date has been quite bloody minded towards the Irish community.
He was utterly graceless in his acceptance speech towards former Commissioner Ray Kelly. Then he announced he was not marching in the main parade on Fifth Avenue without even seeking to act as an intermediary in the parade dispute.
He ended the St.Patrick’s breakfast at Gracie Mansion tradition, he immediately sought to end the horse and carriage business in Central Park, which is largely Irish, he never appointed an Irish liaison and now he snubs Rockaway.
Way to go Bill if you want to build a divisive legacy which reflects badly on you and on the glorious ethnically diverse city you now run.
You are doing no one proud with these antics.
You couldn’t shine Marty Walsh’s shoes when it comes to that important word called leadership.