New Yorkers again had to deal with a terror attack Tuesday. An alleged ISIS sympathizer used a truck as a weapon to kill eight and injure more people.
As a former New Yorker, I was very proud of the way New Yorkers reacted to terror. They refused to shrink in the face of terror and showed characteristic bravery.
New Yorkers and Their Values
Despite some issues with minorities, the New York police are one of the best in the country when it comes to dealing with terror. Unfortunately, they have had to confront terror continually.
When I was in New York, their periodic terror drills were impressive. But their increasing diversity was also striking.
A multicultural police force provides valuable opportunities for intelligence gathering and outreach to prevent terror. Besides, such a force reflects diverse New York.
New Yorkers may be diverse, but they are united on one thing. They resent those who disrupt their daily routines. Disruptions cost money.
Since New York is an expensive city, the people of New York need to make money to live. You can’t be a scaredy-cat New Yorker.
Alert New Yorkers
Therefore, being hyper-aware of your surroundings is part of daily life in New York. Anytime I am in New York, I am acutely aware of, and regularly assessing, threats to my safety.
Fifteen years ago, an ad agency created the “see something, say something” slogan for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA). Many in the New York area have taken the message to heart.
A recent update to the slogan includes the new line “New Yorkers Keep New Yorkers Safe.” When it comes to preventing terror, the motto has worked in some prominent cases.
In September 2016, the slogan resulted in people thwarting a pressure-cooker bombing attempt. Earlier in 2010, an alert New Yorker foiled an attempted car bomb in Times Square.
By coincidence, the person who prevented the Times Square bombing was a Muslim immigrant himself.
New York is a city of immigrants and makes an active effort to welcome them. Of course, there are some exceptions.
New Yorkers Who Don’t Belong in New York
A prominent exception to the brave New Yorkers who appreciate diversity and immigrants is the man who is now President: Donald Trump.
I have noted Trump’s double standards when it comes to responding to terrorism. Trump’s swift reactions to Muslims killing people contrast with his measured responses when mass killers are white. Stupidly, his actions in the former cases often stoke anti-immigrant bias.
In reacting to the NYC terror attack, Trump called for an end to the diversity visa program. The alleged terrorist immigrated to the US under that program.