I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.
Race relations can be an appropriate issue... but only if you want to craft solutions, and not catalogue complaints. If we use the issue appropriately, we can transform it from the cancer of our society into the cure.
I love kids and I maintain that they are our future, that we adults owe them the ability to achieve their potential and that we don't own this planet. We hold it in trust for them.
You can be anything you want to be. You can be a street sweeper, if you want. Just be the best blasted street sweeper you can be . . . And, you know you can be mayor.
Well, I'm not sure, but of one thing I am certain: History judges one differently than contemporary observers, and so I think that as time passes, I hope that not me personally so much, but our administration will be seen for some of the things that we accomplished.
The people really are what make New York City great.
Today, certain people file for bankruptcy, businesses and individuals, and it no longer has the stigma it once had. Now it's almost considered wise, a way to regroup and come back again.
So it's a mistake for someone to think that they bailed New York out. They did assist us, for which we are grateful, but it's a mistake to say we bailed New York out by giving them a grant of money to help those poor people who throw it away on welfare.
Children are amazing, and while I go to places like Princeton and Harvard and Yale, and of course I teach at Columbia, NYU, and that's nice and I love students, but the most fun of all are the real little ones, the young ones.
But I make the observation that no one of us would do things exactly alike.
. . .little has changed in our New York neighborhoods except the faces, the names, and the languages spoken. The same decent values of hard work and accomplishment and service to city and nation still exist.
The art and culture that is New York, communications, finance, all these things help make up New York. The rest of the country should be happy that we are what we are.
You can't twist Al Sharpton's arm.
We borrowed money, it helped us with bonds and what not, and the Federal Government backed it, but it was a guarantee, it was not a grant. And we not only paid it off, but we paid it off ahead of time.
Some of us claim that New York City is the capital of the country, indeed the capital of the world. Now, that may be a bit much for those who don't come from New York, but clearly we are an important city for reasons of our cultural advantages.
And, as a matter of fact, I am the chairman of the Amadou Diallo Foundation.
But the courts have dismissed the lawsuits against me and Lee Brown.
And I tell people I'm in charge of children, children I haven't even met yet.
I finished law school in '56, but I was working two jobs.
I went downtown as a lawyer and then I worked in a liquor store at night, as I had done all through law school. And so when I got to the point where I could give up the night job, I joined the political club.
There is no point in me worrying about what Bloomberg or Badillo will do.
I went to Israel when the missiles were falling there.
In 1975 I was among a group of blacks who formed the Black Americans in Support of Israel Committee.
As a matter of fact, even when I finished law school, I had no notion of public service then.
My mother came here to New York. She and my grandmother were domestics, cooking, cleaning for other people.
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