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Presentation on theme: "SPRING 2013 BROOKLYN COLLEGE HISTORY 3480: HISTORY OF NYC BRENDAN O’MALLEY, INSTRUCTOR CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York."— Presentation transcript:


2 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York FILM CLIPS Excerpts from Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) 1) “Racial Slurs” Montage 2) “Your Jordans Are Fucked Up”

3 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York FROM KOCH TO DINKINS Koch elected first in 1977, re-elected in 1981, and finally in 1985. Koch elected first with a cross-racial coalition in 1977 as a “law-and-order” liberal after the black out and riots. In 1981, Koch loses some of the minority vote as a fiscal conservative and cutter of city social services, but gets middle-class and business vote as both Democratic and Republican nominee. His failed run for governor in 1982 temporarily weakens him. In Jan. 1984, Jesse Jackson refers to New York as “Hymie Town” in an interview with a newspaper reporter. Koch manages to retire the city’s federal loans ahead of time in 1985, but city’s poverty rate increases to 23.9 percent; Koch also angered activists of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (founded 1982), and later, ACT UP (founded 1987). Leading cause of death in 1985 for New Yorkers between 20-24 years of age was homicide; between 25-44, it was AIDS.

4 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York FROM KOCH TO DINKINS Koch wins re-election in 1985, but the 1986 suicide of Queen borough president Donald Manes soon triggers investigations into corruption, revealing payoff rings in multiple city agencies: Parking Violations Bureau, Housing Authority, Department of Environment Protection, the Department of Education, Taxi Commission, etc. Howard Beach Incident: After midnight on Dec. 20, 1986, four black men are attacked by a mob of young Italian American men outside a pizzeria in Howard Beach, Queens. Their car had stalled there. One man, Michael Griffith, was killed fleeing the mob when he was struck by a car while running across the Belt Parkway. October 16. 1987: “Black Monday” – stock market crashes 508 points, and 9,000 Wall Street jobs are lost. Koch harshly criticizes Jesse Jackson during his 1988 presidential bid. March 22, 1989: Board of Estimates structure ruled as unconstitutional: against one person/ one vote. Brooklyn plaintiffs bring the case because more populous than Staten Island or Queens and thus deserves more representation. On Aug. 23, 1989, Yusuf Hawkins, an African American teen, was killed in Bensonhurst by a group of Italian American youth thinking Hawkins was meeting a white girl. On Sep. 12, David Dinkins beats Koch in the Democratic primary, carrying Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. White liberals support him as a racial healer. Yusuf Hawkins (1973-1989)

5 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York DAVID DINKINS (1927- ) After beating Koch in the Democratic primary, Dinkins beats Republican Rudolph Giuliani by less than 50,000 votes; Giuliani carried Staten Island and Queens. Dinkins served in the Marine Corps in 1945 and 1946, and then went Howard University and obtained a law degree at Brooklyn Law. Became involved with the Harlem black Democratic machine alongside politicians like Percy Sutton and Charles Rangel. Served as City Clerk from 1975 to 1985, and then was elected as Manhattan Borough President on his third try in 1985. In the 1989 election, Dinkins won 90 percent of the black vote, 73 of the Latino, and 27 percent of the white. The “Glorious Mosaic”: The 1990 census indicates for the first time that NYC is less than 50 percent white. “Great Bull Market”: City economy goes into a downturn in 1990; in Dinkins’s term, the city lost over 400, jobs. Dinkins’s reputation as a racial healer is hurt by his failure to act in a 1990 black boycott of two Korean markets in Flatbush; things get even worse for him in August 1991.

6 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York CROWN HEIGHTS RIOT AUGUST 19-21, 1991

7 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York RUDOLPH GIULIANI (1944- ) Born in an Italian section of East Flatbush, his father Harold had served prison time at Sing Sing for robbery and worked as a mob enforcer. Attended Manhattan College and then NYU Law, from which he graduated cum laude in 1968. Initially a Democrat, he became an independent in 1975 and then switched to Republican in 1980 to get an appointment in the Reagan Administration, and was named associate attorney general. In 1983, Giuliani became U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1983-1989) and prosecuted high-profile cases like his 1985-1986 “Five Families” trial that employed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). He also prosecuted Wall Streeters like Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky for insider trading. Ran as Republican candidate for mayor in 1989 to unseat Koch; he won the Republican primary but was defeated in the general election by Democrat David Dinkins. In 1993, he runs a successful campaign to unseat Dinkins with a strong “law and order” message. He sought and received the endorsement of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He wons with a relatively small margin of 53,367 votes. He is the first Republican to win since John Lindsay in 1965 (Lindsay ran as an independent in his re-election campaigns).

8 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York RUDOLPH GIULIANI (1944- ) The Mollen Commission that started under Dinkins in 1992 to investigate police corruption issues its report in July 1994; Giuliani uses it to consolidate three separate police branches—regular, transit, and housing—under the NYPD in 1995. For governor in 1994, Giuliani endorses Mario Cuomo, a Democrat, over Republican George Pataki; he saw Pataki as a puppet of his enemy, Senator Alfonse D’Amato. Institutes a policing policy based on James Q. Wilson’s “broken windows” theory, which is executed by the new commissioner and former subway police head, William Bratton. Tracks crime “hotspots” through a computer system known as “CompStat.” Crime rates dropped, but the degree to which policing deserves credit is highly disputed: murder rate decreased by half between 1994 and 1996. The Giuliani-era police force did gain a reputation for brutality, especially toward people of color. Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, was sodomized with a plunger by cops while inside a Brooklyn station house. Louima claimed that one officer said, “This is Giuliani time” while committing the act. Amadou Diallo (1975-1999) was a Guinean immigrant shot by the NYPD on his stoop Feb. 4, 1999 in the Soundview section of the South Bronx. Patrick Dorismond (1974-2000) was an unarmed security guard shot by the NYPD outside of a Manhattan cocktail lounge on March 16, 2000. Amadou Diallo

9 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York RUDOLPH GIULIANI (1944- ) Giuliani won re-election easily in 1997, but with virtually no African American support. Blacks overwhelmingly voted for Democrat and Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, who lost by a wide margin. Giuliani’s second term often seemed marred by pettiness, but he did increase social spending as the economy got better. He did famously cut funding to the Brooklyn Museum in 1999 because of an exhibition he thought showed art that was offensive to Catholics. Giuliani ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000, but drops out because of his prostate cancer diagnosis; Hillary Clinton wins. His troubled marriage to newscaster Donna Hanover falls apart that year as well. Giuliani was praised worldwide for his strong leadership during the September 11 attacks, and his reputation was largely restored. He contemplated trying to remove the two-term of the 1993 City Charter, but after some delay, gives his endorsement to the Republican candidate, Michael R. Bloomberg.

10 CHAPTER ELEVEN Contemporary New York MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG (1942- ) With a divided Democrat field thrown into disarray due to the cancellation of the primary because of September 11 and with $30 million of his own money that he spent on TV and radio advertising, his campaign catches fire. Born in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, he grew up in Medford and became an Eagle Scout. He attended Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, majoring in electrical engineering, and then received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966. He worked at Salomon Brothers as an investment banker until he formed his own company in 1981, which specialized in delivering business information through “Bloomberg Terminals”; Merrill Lynch was the first to install 22 of these machines in 1982. His 2001 election marked the first time that two separate Republicans were elected mayor consecutively in the history of the city. He easily won reelection in 2005 with a 20 percent margin, the largest by a Republican in the history of the city.


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