In case you weren't among the 25 streaming last night's council meeting, you missed another Kodak moment courtesy of (presumed candidate) Councilman Mike DeFusco.
The target was (candidate) Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who along with (candidate) Mayor Zimmer, led the City's response to the Vape Van 'hate speech' incident.
GA was watching MSNBC (and doing a happy dance) so I missed the beginning... but apparently the City reached a settlement with the Vape Van vendor prior to the meeting.
According to the settlement, Vape Van owner Joe Ruggiero will attend 10 "anger management and diversity classes" prior to May 31, and will refrain from operating his business until classes are complete.
Public speakers were largely supportive of Ruggiero. When the Council weighed in, most handled the matter with gravitas.
And then there was Councilman DeFusco.
DeFusco's prepared remarks alleged that the City was "selective" about responding to hate speech. To illustrate his point, he compared himself (as a victim of hate speech) with the Vape Van victim- and singled out Bhalla, with an allegation that he hasn't "been there" for him or for the LGBTQ community.
Note: As a politician, DeFusco is a public figure. Because he makes decisions which effect the lives of Hoboken residents the Constitution does not spare him the slings and arrows of public opinion, and yes- offensive speech.
It's the same for everyone else on the dais.
Does DeFusco really think that a guy wearing a turban doesn't get more shit every day than a guy who doesn't?
Yet, the whiny public-figure baby petulantly accused Bhalla that he never "stood up" against alleged hate speech targeting him (the whiny baby). Imagine that!
Oh yeah: the victim of the Vape Van owner's tirade is a private citizen.
And so in his prepared remarks, public figure DeFusco compares boo-boo's accumulated in the rough and tumble full-contact sport of Hoboken politics to a private citizen verbally assaulted on the streets of Hoboken- like they are the same.
Not only aren't they the same, it is amazing to witness one politician ('A') attacking another politician ('B') for not "standing up" for 'A' when big, bad, meanies attack.
Has 'A' ever stood up for 'B'- who's gotten more shit than most of the alphabet on that dais?
If DeFusco is not being disingenuous then he's out-to-lunch. He's not out-to-lunch.
But what came across to me was the arrogant, oblivious one-sided expectation on behalf of the white, gay letter of alphabet that the brown, Sikh letter of the alphabet be "there" for him.
Call it whatever you want. I'll let Ravi have the last word:
"He doesn't know me. I would die for this principle. That is what my religion teaches me. Where was he during the Oak Creek massacre? Dawn was out with Stan and the kids and Fulop were all there. There was also a hate crime against a Sikh in Jersey City a few years ago, JC came together to show support. I don't expect anything from him but he's wrong to attack me."