Monday, May 6, 2013
Will the tweeders support a homophobic, misogynistic regime?
From the Queens Chronicle:
He’s the deputy prime minister of a backwards Arab nation that lives under Sharia law, oppressing women, gay people and the foreign guest workers who make up nearly 90 percent of his hometown’s population.
He’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, a monarchy that won’t even allow Israeli citizens to cross its border, and a member of the royal family in his home principality, oil-rich Abu Dhabi.
And he’s the man to whom Mayor Bloomberg is reportedly about to essentially give more than a dozen acres of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, for free, so that Major League Soccer can build a stadium for a team the sheikh would own.
This is a plan that absolutely must be stopped.
From the Queens Chronicle:
The UAE’s record has the two gay members of Queens’ council delegation vehemently opposing the sheikh’s ownership of the franchise and stadium.
“I urge my colleagues in the City Council and elected officials across the state to join me in saying that New Yorkers will not do business with a murderous regime and we will not sell, trade or giveaway our public assets to those who discriminate and participate in human rights abuses,” said Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) noted the sheikh’s wealth while also blasting his human rights record.
“The potential swapping of public parkland to a family wealthy enough to purchase the vacant land necessary to construct a stadium is deeply troubling,” Van Bramer said. “To do so with the member of a royal family from a country that actively prosecutes gay men, under threat of the death penalty, for having consensual sex is appalling.”
The vast sums of money involved can be tough to process. But here’s one context that may help: Sheikh Monsour has enough cash on hand to rent 13 acres of Flushing Meadows Corona Park for over four billion years if the city and MLS agree to the $1-per-year fee previously reported in Crain’s.
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), whose district includes the chunk of the park affected by the proposal, declined to comment about the potential owner. Ditto state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), who would likely call the project up to Albany to approve the alienation of replacement parkland.
But Dromm and Van Bramer jumping ahead of Ferreras on the matter breaks with the common councilmanic practice of deferring to the presiding lawmaker. It leaves Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) in the odd bind of being AWOL on an LGBT and women’s rights issue.
The speaker’s office did not respond to requests for comment after being given Dromm and Van Bramer’s statements.
Well this puts the tweeders in a bit of a bind, doesn't it? Note that the main outrage is not alienation of public parkland to benefit the bottom line of a billionaire, but rather the policies of a country on the other side of the world. Speaks volumes about our elected officials. Hey, whatever works.