Councilwoman links ‘knockout game’ to Jewish-black community tensions

Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo will represent Crown Heights when she takes office next month.
Via Facebook

An incoming city councilwoman is being criticized after she blamed some recent “knockout game” attacks on the tension between black and Jewish communities in her neighborhood.

Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo, who will represent Crown Heights when she takes office next month, posted a letter on her Facebook page earlier this week saying that she believes some black constituents fear that they will be pushed out of the neighborhood by the growing Jewish community.

“My comments regarding my thoughts on the origin of the [Knockout Game] came from a place of wanting to get to the heart of the matter, as uncomfortable as that might be for many,” she wrote.

Cumbo went on to say that after meeting thousands of Jewish and African-American/Caribbean residents in her district, it came to her attention that the relationship between the two communities is “not as good as it is currently perceived to be by the leadership.”

She said she expressed her concerns at a community forum for local leaders last month.

“At the meeting, I shared that 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,” she wrote in the 1,200-word letter posted on Facebook.

Cumbo said these sentiments “could 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.”

She continued, “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.”

Some leaders were quick to express their disagreement. Assemblyman Dov Hikind wrote in a letter to Cumbo that he believes her comments were counterproductive.

“Expressing, as you have, a sympathy for those who hold the success of the Jewish community in contempt — as a success ‘not their own’ — almost rings as an apology for those who are committing violent crimes as a response to their resentment,” he said.

“Identifying members of the community as ‘Jewish landlords’ is a stereotype with profound negative connotations,” he added.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.