Brooklyn’s elected officials as well as community leaders and activists in Williamsburg gathered this morning to condemn recent racial attacks that have plagued both the Jewish community as well as the black community. The press conference was led by Councilwoman and Public Advocate-Elect Letitia “Tish” James.
“I’m standing here today with a diverse coalition of elected officials and community leaders who have joined me to call for an end to this ongoing random acts of violence,” said Public Advocate-elect Tish James. “Just as the knockout attacks perpetrated against innocent New Yorkers, and perhaps one group of people, were and are unacceptable, the attack against Taj Patterson is equally unacceptable. We join today to call for healing and unity, and we call for the swift arrest of any individual who’s responsible for the hate crime against Taj Patterson and who’s responsible for any knockout violent crimes against anyone in the City of New York.”
“As we bury today Nelson Mandela, he said the oppression of black people is unacceptable, the oppression of white people and the oppression of Jews are unacceptable, and that’s why we stand here today.”
Ms. James also slammed the media for claiming tension between the black community and the Jewish community in Brooklyn. “Let me dispel that fact. There is no tension,” she said. “In fact it is more of the media who’s propelling this myth. And all we have to do is stand together as one community saying an end to violence.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind followed Ms. James saying, “We are here together. We make look different, we may wear different clothing, but at the end of the day we are New Yorkers who care for the City and we care about violence perpetrated against innocent people. We stand as one. We will not tolerate any kind of hate of violence regardless of where it comes from. It is unacceptable and we will always stand together, and we hope that those who’re responsible for the violence created in these City will be reprehended and we will throw the book at them.”
Brooklyn DA-Elect Ken Thompson vowed to hold anyone involved in the recent attacks accountable. “We cannot have these attacks, because these attacks are actually an attack on the rule of law and an attack on all of us,” said Mr. Thompson. “I stand here today, to make sure that people of Brooklyn know my determination to make sure we get to the bottom of whoever did this to this young man and whoever is behind these other attacks.”
Rabbi Moshe David Neiderman said that it is sad that such a unity conference has to happen on occasions when some innocent people are beaten. “The clear message is: “No violence against anybody,” he proclaimed. Community leader Rabbi Abe Friedman echoed similar words of unity as one community, no matter color of skin. “We are against violence, in any case shape or form, and strongly condemn it. This community is known for years to be the most charitable community and the most united community. Rabbi Moshe Indig (Satmar-Ahronim) noted the recent elections as a transition of change but as change for the better.
Councilman David Greenfield added, “Today’s New York is not the New York of twenty years ago. It’s a New York that we do get along, work together and have mutual respect for each other. And I think that’s the message that we want to send. The actions that we have seen are the actions of a few. We are the folks who represent and work for the community and we can assure all of the communities in New York City that we do work together and respect each other, and we are going to keep working together towards a one New York.”
Assemblyman Walter Mosley, Councilman Steve Levin, Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo, David Pollock of the JCRC and Rabbi Kohn from Crown Height, Gary Schlesinger, as well as an activist on behalf of the pride community, all addressed the crowd and called for unity and mutual respect.
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(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)