Eric Adams, New York City’s new mayor, has hired his brother to serve as a deputy NYPD commissioner. The brother, Bernard Adams, will be responsible for the mayor’s security, among other duties.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this appointment. In fact, it’s natural, assuming Bernard Adams is well qualified for this position, for the mayor to want someone with a close personal connection to be in charge of keeping him physically secure.
But the appointment was bound to raise questions, especially given the seeming thinness of Bernard Adams’ credentials. He’s a retired NYPD sergeant who currently serves as assistant director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University. As deputy commissioner he reportedly will have a yearly salary of around $242,000.
Bernard Adams’ selection has been submitted to the city’s Conflict of Interest Board. It will determine whether to approve it.
In the meantime, Eric Adams responded to criticism over the appointment this way:
Let me be clear on this: My brother is qualified for the position. Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes. I have to take my security in a very serious way. . . .
I trust my brother. My brother understands me. And if I have to put my life in someone’s hands, I want to put it in the hands of a person that I trust deeply, because that is a very personal process of your security.
Adams thus hit on the key points: his brother is qualified (assuming that’s true) and the mayor’s personal security is important. But by throwing in “white supremacy,” Adams is doing what Democrats typically do. He’s trying to deflect criticism by playing the race card.
What’s the evidence that white supremacists pose a particular danger to black mayors generally or this mayor in particular? In response to requests for some, neither Adams’ team nor the NYPD offered any. Nor, to my knowledge, has any black mayor been attacked by white supremacists.
Adams ran as a law and order candidate. If he follows through on his pro-police promises, Adams is at least as likely to be attacked by left-wing lawyers as by white supremacists.
As I said, Adams’ use of race as a “get-out–of-trouble” card is what we have come to expect from a certain kind of Democrat. It’s disappointing nonetheless because it seemed reasonable to hope that Adams isn’t that kind of Dem.