Moses v. Caro, Doctoroff v. Carter

Thursday night’s panel on “Lessons of Robert Moses” at the Museum of the City of New York opened with the patina that the man did, at least, get things done–and that we have figured out how to do so without breaking as many eggs as Mr. Moses did.

But this Bloombergian consensus was shattered by Majora Carter, the one African-American on the panel, the one woman, and the one representative of “the community perspective” (she is executive director of Sustainable South Bronx). Ms. Carter, when innocently asked by the architecture critic for Bloomberg L.P. for her opinion on all the grand-scale planning going on in the city now, took a deep breath, paused for effect, and began:

“This is the first day of Black History Month. I am struck by the irony of the efforts to rehabilitate the image of a man who has done such terrible things to black people….”

Ms. Carter went on for 10 minutes, detailing how the destruction of the Bronx, where she grew up, was still felt today–and was still continuing today, arguing:

“The Bloomberg administration should be commended for its commitment to environmental justice…. However, those are exceptions to the rule…”

She concluded by criticizing the Bloomberg adminstration’s plan to put a jail in the South Bronx.

It must have been hard to be Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, who was sitting just four seats away.

- Matthew Schuerman