Do the Right Thing: Postpone the NY Marathon

I was initially a little conflicted about the NY Marathon not being cancelled, because some of the logic behind Bloomberg’s reasoning makes sense at first glance—albeit in a very cold, Vulcan-esque way—but the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s just another example of using the “resiliency” meme to put business interests ahead of people.

This isn’t 2001, when a far smaller section of NYC was physically affected and the race was held 11 weeks later; and this isn’t a smaller Mardi Gras six months after Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. This is less than a week after an unprecedented and devastating storm in one of the most densely populated regions of the country, where the full impact on Staten Island’s 1/2-million residents is still being determined, and pictures of Breezy Point and the Jersey Shore have been seared into people’s minds.

When the Jersey Shore momentarily stops being a punch line and Staten Island is getting extensive coverage on CNN, holding the Marathon isn’t going to do anything to bring additional attention or awareness to that devastation or people’s need for help. All of the Marathon’s sponsors would be better off donating to the Red Cross than claiming to be doing any good by pushing for the race to go on.

“It’s a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you’ve got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind.”

NYC Mayor Bloomberg, ESPN

WTF?!?! I didn’t think anyone could top Giuliani’s post-9/11 exhortations to go shopping so the terrorists wouldn’t win, but Bloomberg’s ridiculously insensitive comment has done it.

During a week that’s seen NJ Gov. Chris Christie step up the to plate and impress a lot of people who’ve had few reasons to say anything nice about him in the past, myself included, Bloomberg manages to follow up a shining moment of his own—a nuanced and rational endorsement of Obama—with a bone-headed decision to put business interests ahead of the well-being and safety of his constituents.

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