Cuomo, neglector of subways and fantasy White House decorator, has been all over the fatal violence that took place this weekend in Virginia, subtweeting Donald Trump and bulking up New York’s protections of minorities. His latest idea is aimed at making it harder for hate groups to protest. From the Albany Times-Union:
Dubbed the Charlottesville Provisions, penalties for rioting and inciting to riot would be increased. Rioting under the hate crimes law would come with stiffer felony penalties, while inciting to riot under the hate crimes law would become a felony (up from a misdemeanor).
Cuomo may believe that placing these provisions in the state’s hate crime statute means they will only be applied to the alt-right. But public discourse is now saturated with the notions that a) whites are being targeted for their race and b) there is a thing called the “alt-left,” which is violent and hateful. The president basically endorsed this view over the weekend with his claim that “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville. The danger is that a new anti-rioting statute will be applied to protesters in front of Trump Tower as soon as someone deems it convenient.
But, in fact, Cuomo’s proposals won’t be enacted anytime soon, since the New York state legislature is on break from legislative business until January. The timing, however, is fortuitous in a different respect, in that Cuomo is undergoing his own sordid racial controversy: One of his most generous donors, a hedge fund manager who runs the controversial Success Academy chain of charter schools, attacked state Senator Andrea Stewart-Collins over her support for teachers’ unions last week.
The New York Times reports that:
The hedge fund manager, Daniel S. Loeb, one of the state’s most prolific political donors, said in a Facebook posting last week that Ms. Stewart-Cousins was worse for minorities than “anyone who has ever donned a hood” because of her support for teachers’ unions. Mr. Loeb has since deleted the post and apologized.
But on Monday, another post from Loeb’s Facebook account was discovered that called teachers’ unions “the single biggest force standing in the way of quality education and an organization that has done more to perpetuate poverty and discrimination against people of color than the K.K.K.” Loeb has also donated significant sums to members of the state Senate’s breakaway Independent Democratic Caucus, a group that Cuomo has thus far been unwilling or unable to entice back into the party fold. Just yesterday, black lawmakers rallied in New York in support of Stewart-Collins, who also reportedly had a racially charged encounter with Cuomo himself.