The Jordan Neely case continues to grab headlines around the country — mainly driven by the media’s insatiable desire to racialize everything. But this time, something feels different.
Sure, we quickly got the usual bleats from the usual suspects: AOC called Neely’s death a “murder”; New York State Senator Julia Salazar — think “AOC lite” — called it a “lynching.” Al Sharpton, NYC Council Leader Adrienne Adams, The New York Times, a handful of over-indulged protestors on subway tracks… all defaulted to the narrative they’ve become so accustomed to bullying us with.
The result — as we’ve covered in this space previously — was the liquefaction of Mayor Eric Adams’ spine, and a rush-to-judgment-arrest by the NYPD before a grand jury was convened (which almost certainly occurred on Adams’ orders).
Naturally, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, whose efficacy and leadership in that storied office reminds one of the average Russian General, went along with the fast arrest. Now suddenly he’s trying to sound like a prosecutor and not Dr. Phil.
But then things got… complicated. A closer look at the famous video reveals that one of the men helping Daniel Penny restrain Neely is a man of color. A woman on the train stated that she was “praying” for Penny, and that she immediately went to the Fifth Precinct to give a statement in support. Then a black woman on that subway car stepped forward to call Daniel Penny “a hero” in the press. All three are potential testifiers.
This is not how the script was supposed to run. Shouldn’t we be burning tires and looting stores by now? Is there an “occupy” going on somewhere that I missed?
Nowhere is this shift more vivid than in the comments to the original articles by The Times. In a near-sexual fever, Times writers began to churn out article after article sanitizing Neely’s very troubled life, and (naturally) demonizing Penny. These articles have a Mad-Libs quality; the buzz-terms are always the same (“white supremacist,” “fear of the ‘other’”, etc). Usually, the “reader comments” to this stuff — if you can bring yourself to read them — will run the gamut of “I agree” to “Wow, do I agree!”
Not this time.
I don’t ever recall seeing such push-back to Times op-eds. Clearly, even some — in fact, many — Times readers ride the subway. And they’ve all been in situations where they were praying for a Daniel Penny to show up.
And it’s not just in the Times’ comments. As a current Manhattanite, I can tell you that the word on the street is: don’t indict him. While the people in the bars, restaurants, in online forums — all of whom would likely characterize themselves as lefties — recognize that Neely’s death is a tragedy, they generally don’t want Daniel Penny jailed for it.
So what gives?
It’s simple: None of the people publicly calling for Daniel Penny’s head ride the subways. For instance, AOC — who likes to affect a “Jenny-from-the-block” persona but who actually grew up in East Cupcake upstate somewhere — is rarely even in her district, never mind on the subway. Comptroller Brad Lander — who called Penny a “vigilante” on Twitter — has a city-funded driver.
This is the Uber Class — the folks who can afford to car service everywhere, even daily to work (if they don’t have a chauffeur).
The rest of us are the Subway Class — condemned to hurtle around town in a metal tube that’s a rolling psych ward.
It’s like H.G. Wells’ dystopian novel, The Time Machine. It’s the Above-Grounders versus the Under-Grounders, the enlightened Eloi versus the shambling Moorlocks.
(Comptroller Brad Lander holding off subway dwellers emerging at Broadway and 42nd.)
It was, of course, the Uber Class that created the defund movement, and so the vacuum Daniel Penny felt compelled to fill. Has it somehow escaped the notice of these Uberites that Jordan Neely had in fact been recently sentenced to an “incarceration alternative”? And that its effectiveness was laughable?
So as the Uber Progressives continue to tell us how overblown the crime issue is — while New York becomes ever-more pockmarked by empty storefronts — remember the old saying: “It’s easy to be a holy man on a mountain.”
And in your daily Uber, apparently.
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