Posted by Brian
Ignorant? Racist? Anti-Semitic? Just plain stupid? It's hard to say which adjective(s) is/are more applicable, though all of them certainly fit. Not due to be sworn in until January, the Councilwoman-elect from Crown Heights, Laurie Cumbo, sent out a letter from her office saying that knockout attacks on Jews by blacks may actually be the fault of the Jews themselves and the actual growth of Jews in the community. Her letter, which she also posted on Facebook (read here), states :
"Many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes. I relayed these sentiments at the forum not as an insult to the Jewish community, but rather to offer possible insight as to how young African American/Caribbean teens could conceivably commit a “hate crime” against a community that they know very little about.
I admire the Jewish community immensely. I am particularly inspired by the fact that the Jewish community has not assimilated to the dominant American culture, and has preserved their religious and cultural values while remaining true to themselves. I respect and appreciate the Jewish community’s family values and unity that has led to strong political, economic and cultural gains. While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success."
The letter comes across as a typical milquetoast politician's straddling of the issue, calling for zero-tolerance for those who commit these attacks, and yet attempting to provide a plausible excuse for their behavior, and blaming it on the very people they have been attacking!
Rabbi Chanina Sperlin strongly condemned her remarks, saying, “I saw her letter. I told her I totally disagree. ”I think she has a lot to learn in this community….she’s coming in on such a left foot, and she didn’t even step into the City Council yet. I don’t know where the wild dream is coming from that Jewish people want to kick African-Americans out of their houses…but it’s definitely not coming from the Jewish community.
This is quite a difference from September of this year, when Rabbi Sperlin, Chairman of The Political Action Committee of Crown Heights, the most active political group in the Jewish Community of Crown Heights, endorsed her candidacy for City Council, and stating, “Laurie has really made an effort to reach out to the Jewish residents of the District. She understands the issues that our families face and she has made the alliances necessary to get things done."
I wonder if he and the rest of the liberal Jewish community in Crown Heights and New York City still feel that she "understands" their issues as she throws them under the bus for being victims, while simultaneously asking that they understand the criminal mindset of their attackers? All before she has even been sworn into office!
Cumbo also blamed the media for drawing attention to the "Knockout Game" attacks. If these attacks, which have been reported in St. Louis, Philadelphia, NewYork City and elsewhere, are the fault of Jews "taking over" her neighborhoods, why are they so widespread, and not just a local problem?
Again, why do we as Americans think politicians are so damn smart? I counter that they aren't smarter than the rest, they just have less shame about begging for money.
NYC Councilwoman Suggests Jewish Victims May Be At Fault For Knockout Attacks