I’m posting this as a question because that’s genuinely how I feel about it at the moment. If you’re not up on the story, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has excluded clergy and 9-11 responders from the city’s ceremony on the tenth anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. While he has excluded clergy and first responders, Bloomberg has evidently invited a list of the high, mighty and rich to attend. And a token number of the civilian victims’ families.
Despite what he seems to believe, 9-11 is not Michael Bloomberg’s political toy. He wasn’t even mayor on that day when terrorists killed hundreds of NYC first responders and FDNY chaplain Mychal Judge; Rudy Giuliani was. The memory of 9-11 and the innocents who died that day belong to the entire nation. To his permanent shame, Bloomberg has made the memorial a divisive issue. The exclusion of clergy and 9-11 responders is a disgrace nearly beyond description. There is not a great deal in public life that shocks me anymore; this decision did, and still does, shock me.
Bloomberg must reverse course. Should Bloomberg’s 9-11 ceremony be publicly boycotted? Given Bloomberg’s staggering arrogance, it’s difficult to see how anything but a massive, organized and highly visible resistance can possibly get his attention in time to persuade him to change his mind. He has no conscience to sear, it seems, so only public repudiation and humiliation are likely to have any effect.