Laurie Cumbo, councilwoman-elect for the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, has made some inflammatory remarks about the infamous ‘knockout game.’
In an open letter posted on her Facebook page, Cumbo claimed that the growing Jewish communities in Brooklyn alarm African-Americans, and this alarm over growing Jewish influence is the reason why some people have resorted to violence such as the knockout game.
“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 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,” wrote Cumbo in her open letter.
According to Cumbo, it is understandable that some African-Americans in Brooklyn are resorting to playing the ‘knockout game,” which targets many Jewish people. She also feels that the media is focusing too heavily on Jewish victims of the crime. Cumbo wants news outlets to spend more time reporting the many African-American victims of the ‘knockout game,’ even though as a whole, the game targets Caucasians and Jews disproportionately.
Cumbo also wrote that she is, “apart [sic] of the very system that has caused the destructive path that so many young people have decided to take while I am simultaneously demanding that they be arrested by that same system.”
Personal responsibility for one’s own behavior is not high on Cumbo’s list of traits that a person should have. While it is true that the African-American community has been hit very hard under the current lackluster economy, it is never right to justify extreme violence, especially violence that is committed on racial or ethnic terms.
Police in the Crown Heights area are investigating at least seven possibly anti-Semitic attacks.
“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,” states Rabbi Chanina Sperlin in response to Cumbo’s letter.
People are beginning to call on de Blasio to denounce Cumbo’s letter. Many see it as nothing more than typical scapegoating, in which Cumbo tries to explain away abhorrent behavior.
“Who is there to speak out against Cumbo’s words?” writes John Podhoretz of Commentary, “De Blasio?”
Expect to see Cumbo apologizing for her conspiracy laden remarks about the Jewish community in the near future, as her comments will not sit well with Jewish leaders.