Was the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who succumbed on a NYC subway train, an accident or further demonstration of white supremacy? The question should not even be debated. Rational thought can explain such events, but too many (especially those whose job it is to inform us) have abandoned such thought; consequently, truth remains elusive for vast numbers. Truth is essential to understand the problems we actually face, not the problems invented for us. Without such understanding how can we even begin to correct societal problems?
Neely was on what outreach workers refer to as the “Top 50” list — a roster maintained by New York City of the homeless people living on the street most urgently in need of assistance and treatment. An unnamed employee of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, a nonprofit organization that does subway outreach for the city, told the New York Times that Neely had hundreds of encounters with social workers and was taken to hospitals numerous times, both voluntarily and involuntarily.
Neely also racked up more than three dozen arrests. Many of them were offenses like turnstile-jumping or trespassing. However, at least four were on charges of punching people, two in the subway system.
Neely’s aunt, Carolyn Neely, told the New York Post that doctors did not adequately treat him.
“Doctors knew his condition, he needed to be treated…He wasn’t a bad person.” she continued, adding that Neely was in and out of Bellevue Hospital.
The Times reported that in November of 2021, Neely’s aggression peaked when he punched a 67-year-old woman in the street on the Lower East Side. He was charged with assault and spent 15 months in jail,
This snippet from National Review is enough to understand so much about our culture. The facts must be considered before putting the people involved, Jordan Neely or Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old marine who restrained him, into pre-defined categories. Unfortunately, our media seeks to make such people into representatives of their group. Your associated group is either guilty of some long-standing crime or has been perpetually victimized; folks are treated only as proxies for their group, regardless of the facts of their unique story. Individuals become caricatures in a narrative media invented.
This story is a microcosm for what’s ailing our society today, not problems of Neely’s or Penny’s making. Mr. Neely acted badly before and during this incident. Still, our systems failed him. It was only a matter of time before something bad happened: to him or from him.
Who has this Situation Wrong?
Those decrying the death of Mr. Neely today have done little or nothing to address the problems that have plagued big cities and so many other individuals like Mr. Neely for so many years. They elevate him now: a man who loved to dance like Michael Jackson, someone who was actually a good person despite bad circumstances, but they have had countless opportunities to help him and others like him; they failed to make a difference. The situation has now turned tragic and it is all someone else’s fault. The interminably dim-witted and ever-political Congresswoman Ocassio-Cortez (AOC) said the following:
“Jordan Neely was murdered. But bc Jordan was houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor, the murderer gets protected w/ passive headlines + no charges. It’s disgusting
The Congresswoman is a representative of New York City (Bronx and Queens), not someone without power. She is often elevated as a Democrat spokesperson, and is considered a future presidential candidate, a person of great influence. Her party has controlled NYC for the last twenty-two years, yet she blames those without political power as the source of the problem. I would say she is the one being disgusting: using Neely’s tragic death as an opportunity push political causes like rent control. Jordan Neely was homeless because rents are increasing or because he, as his aunt described, was mentally unstable, was addicted to illegal drugs, and had been arrested countless times? He died because his pleas for food were ignored or because he was restrained for his aggressive and violent behavior? He died because the poor in NYC are being demonized or because he was demonizing others?
Mr. Penny was first released without charges because the NYC police empathize with white supremacists or because he was protecting others on the train? What evidence is there that Mr. Penny has suspect ties to white supremacy? That is simply the standard charge that must be leveled by dishonest political actors. Everyone knows the truth, but the game must be played in any case,.
I can’t determine what facts matter for the congresswoman, unless it is her future political career. Perhaps she should have spent more time solving problems for constituents and put less focus on the Met Gala (left panel) or staging phony arrests (https://nypost.com/2022/07/19/aoc-fakes-being-handcuffed-after-abortion-rights-protest-arrest/).
The day before a homeless man went on a scary rant on the subway that ultimately resulted in his death, he nearly pushed someone to the tracks at the same station, according to a Reddit user who posted about the incident.
“This man jumped on me, grabbed my shoulders, and pushed me towards the tracks Sunday night at this very station,” a Reddit user posted Wednesday.
Ms. AOC did you give a damn about Mr. Neely while he was alive? Did you give a damn about his victims and future potential victims? Are you thinking about the many others like him today? Do you believe we can protect others from folks like Mr. Neely or could we have protected him from himself–or do you see his death only as an opportunity to advance your political interests? I have far more sympathy and understanding for Mr. Neely, Mr. Penny, and everyone else in this situation than I have for the predations of disreputable (and dim-witted) politicians like the congresswoman.
Others protesting Mr. Neely’s death are rather foolish as well, blocking the subway trains and risking serious injury or death from electrocution. They are duped by fools like AOC. There are no restrictions for or criticism of these folks.
From the MTA NYC Passenger Safety FAQ: “No matter what situation arises, keep off the tracks. Tracks contain 600 volts of live electricity.”
Mr. Neely was actually arrested 44 times. In the big city near me (Charlotte, NC), I have heard the same story for more thirty years: criminal is arrested, criminal pleads guilty to a reduced charge, criminal is released, criminal commits more crime, and criminal is arrested again. Rinse and repeat ad nauseum. Often a person must be arrested dozens of times until something tragically bad or politically newsworthy happens; only then is he permanently taken off the street.
Take a random sample of any large city in the US for any period during the last thirty years and you will likely find this same pattern. There is definitely something very wrong with the American justice when we so often hear the statement: “This man was arrested 44 times.” I have heard similar statements hundreds of times without even seeking such information. This number of arrests should be a rarity, not commonplace.
Again, It’s About Race
The media pretends white supremacists abound and are preying on innocent blacks. This narrative is trumpeted in every instance of a black victim at the hands of a white individual. Instances with the races reversed are ignored. The pattern is so obvious and predictable.
In this incident, a black man assisted in the submission of Mr. Neely. If he were white, he would also be part of the problem, another white supremacist, but instead he has been largely ignored. If the races were reversed, Mr. Penny would be hailed by media as a hero.
There is no evidence from the video this incident had anything to do with race. The lie that contemporary racist America is repeated and parroted so often. There was no evidence that Officer Chauvin convicted in George Floyd’s death was motivated by race (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/05/01/chauvin-verdict-what-next/) or that Kyle Rittenhouse was a white supremacist (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/12/11/rittenhouse-verdict-what-it-means-for-justice-and-race-in-america/), Yet, racism is the only narrative that sells.
It is a seductive lie. Many wish to believe it to villainize their opponents and to feel better about their own superior, non-racist, behavior. The lie seeps into our lives without us realizing. Studies show a systematic campaign to increase references to racism in media; these references have led to more “awareness” and have turned a minor issue into one constantly on our minds. Media references increased by a factor of 10 between 2010 and 2020.
We should also acknowledge NYC subways are not safe. I am not a New Yorker, but I have ridden the subway enough to know the legitimate concerns of natives.
Only 15% of New Yorkers feel “very safe” riding the subway during the day — and a majority would like to see more police officers patrolling the system, a new poll found.
At night, meanwhile, only 7% of respondents said they felt “very safe,”
Asked about Adams’ plan to continue to increase the NYPD’s presence in the transit system, 86% of those who responded said they supported his plan,
Twenty-seven people have been killed on the New York subway the last three years, a marked increase over prior years. Might the lack of subway safety be a consideration after this incident? If Mayor Adams has a plan to increase police presence in the subway why has it been resisted? The answer is, of course: race. More police presence would lead to more racially disproportionate arrest numbers. The bad statistics must be avoided, so police presence is minimized and the subway remains a risky proposition. When there are problems who else is there to address them but stout-hearted folks like Mr. Penny? City officials fear a backlash from increased police presence, so they make such situations inevitable.
It’s good that New York’s progressive elected officials and transit advocates are outraged by Jordan Neely’s killing on a Manhattan subway train Monday.
Neely’s life mattered — and so did the lives of the 27 other people violently killed on the subway since March 2020.
Where was the progressive outrage then?
Facts indicate Mr. Penny is a hero, not a villain. He is not a vigilante by any measure. He stepped in because a potentially dangerous situation existed. Others were afraid and intimidated by Mr. Neely. Shouldn’t this tragedy be impetus for Mayor Adams “controversial” plan to increase police protection instead of an opportunity to advance the narrative of white supremacy (which is actually nowhere to be found in this instance)?
Around 60 years ago government policy towards the mentally ill changed. Academia and media advocated a more compassionate approach: releasing them from state hospitals and returning their freedom. The New York Times wrote about this in 1984. The problem has only worsened since:
”Extravagant claims were made for the benefits of shifting from state hospitals to community clinics,” Dr. Smith said. ”The professional community made mistakes and was overly optimistic, but the political community wanted to save money.”
Dr. Robert H. Felix, who was then director of the National Institute of Mental Health and a major figure in the shift to community centers, says now on reflection: ”Many of those patients who left the state hospitals never should have done so. We psychiatrists saw too much of the old snake pit, saw too many people who shouldn’t have been there and we overreacted. The result is not what we intended, and perhaps we didn’t ask the questions that should have been asked when developing a new concept, but psychiatrists are human, too, and we tried our damnedest.”
Where is a man like Jordan Neely to go? He is either homeless or in jail. Mr. Neely is a victim in this instance, not a victim of race, but rather a victim of irresponsible government policy, policy which claims to be compassionate, but actually harms folks like Mr. Neely and puts the rest of society at risk as well.
The latest form of compassion for homeless folks like Mr. Neely is to allow them to live wherever they choose; their victim status gives them vast protections. The rest of us are asked to tolerate their erratic behavior: on the subway or in front of our homes. This tolerance (which is nothing more than passive acceptance of not-so-good behavior) doesn’t help the homeless, most of whom are on drugs or mentally unstable, and it puts the larger public at risk.
Oregon Democrats propose ‘Right to Rest Act’ decriminalizing public camping as homeless crisis surges.
Oregon Democrats have put forward a bill that would decriminalize camping despite calls for help from residents already exasperated by the homelessness crisis in the state.
Oregon House Bill 3501, known as the Right to Rest Act, states that homeless individuals will have “a privacy interest and a reasonable expectation of privacy in any property belonging to the person, regardless of whether the property is located in a public space.”
The bill also allows homeless individuals to sue for up to $1,000 if they are “harassed” or told to relocate.
What Actually Happened?
Let’s look further into the incident itself.
Did Mr. Penny intend harm to Mr. Neely? The clear implication of his (politically motivated) detractors is he was targeting Mr. Neely because he was black. Media looked far and wide, but found no such motivation that fateful day nor in Mr. Penny’s past. If there were even the slightest hint of racism, the evidence would be trumpeted all over the media.
It is very difficult to determine the actual intent of Mr. Penny (although many clearly tell us they already know). Let’s hear what the other witnesses (there were several) have to say. Let’s wait, as Mayor Adams suggested initially (he later changed his tune) until police complete an investigation.
Was Mr. Penny wrong to get involved at all? Several others on the train stated Mr. Neely was acting erratically and provoking others on the train. We should all empathize with the discomfort we would feel in such a situation. Two others assisted Mr. Penny in subduing Mr. Neely. Were they all wrong to get involved? They were strangers thrown together, not collaborators on the Orient Express.
The man who shot the video of the incident said the following:
He told the Times of the Marine, “I am confused now because I’m not sure how to think about what the young man did. He was trying to help.” He said that at the time, no one thought Neely, 30, might die.
“None of us were thinking that,” he told The Times. “He was moving and he was defending himself.”
We have learned Mr. Neely was a troubled individual. Despite not being a bad person according to some, he had attempted to kidnap a 7-year-old, had been incarcerated for assaulting a 67-year old woman, had attempted to push people onto the subway tracks days earlier, had been arrested more than forty times, was a drug addict, and had mental ailments that plagued him for years. These facts do not mean he was wrong in this instance, but his character is consistent with eyewitness accounts that fateful day.
Mr. Neely also came from a broken home and lacked education. These problems are overcome by some, but more often than not lead only to difficulties in later life. Why doesn’t this situation lead to further discussion of these societal problems? Race is the only problem in this situation?
What about Mr. Penny’s character? According to Daily Mail, Penny: “served in the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division as a sergeant in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but left the service in June 2021. He had served four years and was the recipient of seven medals.”
Neither video nor witnesses nor media fact checkers provided any evidence to indict Mr. Penny. Nothing yet has shown Mr. Penny intended harm, nothing yet says he over-reacted or was negligent.
Could there be more to explain Mr. Neely’s death? Could drugs have been involved? Could he have overdosed or could the combination of the drugs and the stress of the situation caused his death? Possibly. Who knows? Should we wait for more facts to be revealed?
Only the races of the two men matter to those ready to convict Mr. Penny. We should wait to learn more. The unwillingness to examine the facts already established, the unwillingness to treat Mr. Penny fairly, the unwillingness to wait for conclusive evidence highlights media and political biases. Ben Shapiro called it: “The race based lynching of a hero marine.” Yes indeed. We should protest this racial injustice as vigorously as any other injustice.
Others on the train thanked Mr. Penny after the incident. They believed he was protecting them, helping them. When Mr. Neely was in distress after several minutes of restraint, the video showed Mr. Penny putting him in a recovery position. He was a trained marine instructor, after all. If he had wished Mr. Neely harm, he would not have acted this way. Future evidence may indict Mr. Penny, but none is apparent yet. Should we investigate Mr. Neely’s death? Yes, of course. Should we convict Mr. Penny in the court of public opinion because media, politicians, and BLM speak out? No. The treatment of Mr. Penny to this point is an injustice.
The charges brought against Mr. Penny further or protect political interests, but what are the consequences? We decry when people don’t help others in distress, but Mr. Penny rightly got involved, rightly acted to help and protect others. Who else will act in the future when they fear they will be attacked unfairly by Monday morning quarterbacks with a political agenda? Might it be in their own interests to look away at such a crucial time? Will we shrink from reacting when we should not? Is this not the unintended natural consequence?