Hizzoner Urges Brooklyn Tech Grads To Fight Injustice All Over The World

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A father’s pride was mixed with a message of racial tolerance Friday as Mayor Bill de Blasio urged members of his son’s high school graduating class to not turn cynical in the wake of the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.

The event at Barclays Center had its usual pomp and circumstance, including the presentation of the flag as 1,264 graduates of Brooklyn Tech High School received their diplomas.

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Among the graduates was one Dante de Blasio, whose picture flashed on the overhead screens of the arena as he listened to the keynote speaker, his father, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

The mayor talked of the lessons that could be taken from the Charleston shootings.

“It is something that is impossible for our minds to take in, that nine people could be cut down in a house of worship,” Bill de Blasio said. “It would not be unfair for you to be cynical or anger of frustrated by some of these realities.”

The mayor said the injustice in Charleston should move the graduates to fight injustice in the world wherever they see it.

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“You think about the power of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement as one example and that movement stands for so much and the very words indicate an idea we should not have to assert,” the mayor said. “It should be self-evident in this society, and yet it has to be fought for.”

Dante de Blasio was the only one of the graduating class not wearing a mortar board. He wore flip flops and appeared not to see his excited dad, mom, Chirlane McCray, and sister, Chiara, waving excitedly from a choice seat up front.

But there was also parental pride for their son, whose appearance in a campaign commercial is widely credited with helping Bill de Blasio to come from behind in a crowded Democratic field to win the primary and then the whole enchilada, Kramer reported.

Bill de Blasio called on parents to repeat after him the thoughts that were in his heart.

“You make me proud. You are such a joy. You turned out all right. Your future is bright,” the mayor said.

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Dante de Blasio will be going to Yale in the fall – far enough away to be independent of his family, but close enough to bring his laundry home on the weekends.