In meeting with Trump, Bill de Blasio reminds him of the "900 Muslim members of the NYPD"
On Wednesday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio met face-to-face with Donald Trump in the president-elect's eponymous tower, becoming the first Democratic leader, save President Barack Obama, to convene with Trump since his victory.
According to the New York Times, the one-on-one meeting, unaccompanied by aides, lasted for a total of 62 minutes — and according to de Blasio, none of those minutes were wasted on mincing words.
In a string of tweets Wednesday evening, de Blasio — who Trump once called the "worst mayor in the United States" — shared some of the main talking points he brought to Trump. He'd emphasized his concerns about the president-elect's plans to cut taxes for the rich, deport undocumented immigrants and rely on racist policing practices to crack down on crime.
Trump has certainly heard these arguments before. But de Blasio left him with one final kernel of truth that may have never occurred to him.
"I told the president-elect something a lot of people don't know," wrote de Blasio. "And that is that there are 900 Muslim members of the NYPD protecting us all."
Throughout his campaign, Trump has portrayed Islam as being an inherently violent religion, lumping all Muslims together with the violent extremists who make up ISIS. What's more, Trump's policy proposals — to ban all Muslims from entering the United States or, at least, to make all Muslim immigrants register via a database — reflect his overarching view that Muslims, as a group, are enemies to the U.S. and are threats to national security.
Yet, as de Blasio alluded to during his Wednesday meeting with Trump, these harmful characterizations of Muslims ignore the Muslims who work to protect our country every day. In June, former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton pointed out that many of the Muslims working in the NYPD had been assigned to the Trump Tower security detail at the time, working to keep Trump safe — Bratton called it "ironic."
As for de Blasio, he left it up to Trump to let that irony sink in.
"The ball's in his court," de Blasio said at a press conference outside Trump Tower following the meeting, according to the New York Times. "People in the city and all over the country are looking to see what he's going to do."