I have been staying in Queens recently, mostly in the neighborhoods of Astoria and Long Island City, across the East River from Manhattan. I turned on the television Monday morning to see local news coverage of a brutal murder at a liquor store on Astoria Boulevard from the day before. A Dunkin’ Donuts next to the liquor store flashed on the screen. “I think I have been there,” I thought to myself.
I had. Later that morning I walked over to the scene of the crime, just yards from the Dunkin’ Donuts I frequent. The blood of the slaughtered store owner was still visible on the stoop of his store. A twentysomething, James Patrick Dillon, stabbed the owner of the store to death. New York City’s Marxist Mayor Bill de Blasio immediately tried to medicalize the crime spree (in addition to stabbing to death the store owner, Dillon also set on fire a homeless man, stabbed a mother with four kids on the way to church Sunday morning, and threw acid in the faces of two cops) by saying that Dillon had no “history of violence” but was suffering from untreated mental illness: “Anyone who wants an overnight solution has to look at the fact that this was bluntly ignored for decades. We need to do a much better job… at identifying when someone has a problem and getting them the help they need.”
“That’s total bulls–t,” said a man with whom I spoke near the crime scene. The man explained that Dillon was a known bad apple in the neighborhood and that in all likelihood he committed the crimes not because he “went off his meds” but because he was a “drunk and druggie.”
Another man with whom I spoke, a Hispanic immigrant who identified himself as an “electrician” in the neighborhood, chipped in that “this area used to be safe but it isn’t anymore.” This man described himself as a supporter of Trump and complained that the neighborhood over the last decade has gone from “Italian and Greek” to “Middle Eastern.”
Indeed, down the block from the crime scene is “Little Egypt,” a string of streets with hookah bars to which white kids gravitate for their drug-spiked hookah. The Hispanic electrician said that he hopes Trump wins the presidency and then sends some “undercover agents” into the hookah bars and mosques in Little Egypt, which he insisted is just one big front for “radical Islam.”
“Where do you think these Muslim immigrants get hundreds of thousands of dollars to open these hookah lounges?” he added. It comes, he insists, from terrorist Islamic countries abroad. “They are places to wash their money and make money for their terrorism,” he said. The police, he continued, don’t “police Little Egypt seriously or send undercover guys into it.” He blamed this policy on the “liberal” de Blasio administration.
A bearded man whom I met the next day was even more blunt: “that liberal motherf–er de Blasio has given these criminals a green light by tying the hands of the cops.” “Astoria was safe until these motherfu–ers adopted all this liberal horses–t.” “See those syringes on the ground,” he said to me. “That’s because they changed the needle exchange program so that these druggies can get as many needles as they want. Now those syringes are all over the place. They are in the river. Kids can pick them up.”
He was right. You don’t have to walk far in Astoria before seeing drug syringes littering the streets. This man said that he “was a registered Democrat until de Blasio” came to power. Now he votes Republican and is hoping Trump wins and ends the political correctness that is ruining places like Queens. “Hillary is a lying puke,” he said.
Trump has an additional reason to make Queens great again: he grew up there in the neighborhood of Jamaica Estates. From my admittedly unscientific sampling, many angry residents of Queens are ready to vote for him. Every Bangladeshi immigrant there I have met — tons of cab drivers live in Queens owing to its proximity to La Guardia and Kennedy airports — supports Trump. “He will keep us safe; Hillary won’t,” said one Bangladeshi cabbie.
Home to an estimated 770,000 Muslims, many of them peaceful, some of them not, and home to even more de Blasio-style tree huggers and pacifists, New York City remains a place of vulnerability. If Trump wants to jumpstart America’s tradition of security, serious borders, and greatness, he could start the campaign in his own backyard.
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