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
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.