Archive for the tag 'racism'

Source: Glennschuck via twitter

A worker removing the graffiti (Source: Glennschuck via twitter)

A demented vandal defaced the Jackie Robinson statue outside of MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) with racial epithets and a swastika. The New York Daily News is reporting that the act of vandalism was discovered on Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m.

The Daily News described horrible content scrawled on the statue:

Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument to Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: “Heil Hitler,” “Die n—-r,” “F–k n—-r” and “F–k Jackie Robinson.”

Cyclones official Billy Harner was rightfully aghast at the discovery of the hate infused garbage covering the monument to one of America’s greatest civil rights heroes.

“The statue is a symbol of tolerance. It’s an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did,” Harner told the Daily News.

While graffiti written on the bronze part of the statue was removed, workers are having trouble removing the black marker from the stone base.

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Meanwhile, according to a report, local politicians including Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Eric Adams and City Council candidate Mark Treyger have offered a $1,500 cash reward for anyone who provides information that leads to a police arrest.

Greenfield, Adams and Treyger all expressed outrage over the continued rash of hate graffiti being scrawled across Southern Brooklyn.

“I am very concerned about the rise of hateful and anti-Semitic incidents here in Brooklyn and throughout New York City. The fact that a statue celebrating the historic friendship of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese was vandalized with anti-black and anti-Semitic graffiti makes this incident even more despicable. We must once again come together as a community and a city to send a clear message that this cowardly behavior will not be tolerated and that we will support the NYPD in bringing those responsible to justice,” Greenfield said.

“This action is not in the spirit of Brooklyn or in the spirit of Jackie Robinson or Pee Wee Reese. And to desecrate the statues that represent their memory and legacy is unforgivable. When the perpetrator(s) of this hate crime are caught — and I’m confident they will be, they should face the maximum penalty under the law,” said Senator Adams.

“The vandalism of the statue of civil rights icon and hero Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in the borough we are proud to call home, is a sad reminder that those who hate, hate indiscriminately. We cannot – and will not – be intimidated by such vile individuals. Everything that is great about Brooklyn, and New York City, comes from its diversity. For this to occur in Coney Island – a neighborhood known for its rich diversity – is particularly outrageous and despicable. Make no mistake, whoever committed this act of vandalism has committed a crime, and the District Attorney should prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law. We are offering a reward of $1,500 for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible,” said Treyger.

The New York Daily News has also put out a $10,000 cash reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the crime.

Anyone with knowledge of the incident can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source: Facebook

The poster being circulated by Vargas (Source: Facebook)

First our own Community Board chairperson was accused of a hate crime against disabled people by a scorned rehab center operator, and now Eddie Mark, who serves as the chairperson for Brighton Beach and Coney Island’s Community Board 13, has been accused of making racist and homophobic remarks to newly-appointed Board member Rican Vargas. The New York Post is reporting that Vargas, who runs the Coney Island Dancers, held a march and launched a Facebook campaign calling for Mark to resign.

The Post described how the incident between Mark and Vargas started:

Vargas told the Post that Mark and a buddy of the board chairman allegedly made the racist comments to him during an April encounter at Tom’s Diner on the boardwalk.

“They said my events attract too many gays and blacks to Coney Island, and that I had to change it up,” said a fuming Vargas, who added that a friend who can back up his story accompanied him.

In another bizarre twist, Vargas claims he opted to finally take action only after “finding out” Mark and his minions recently called the cops to have the Dancers’ boardwalk permits pulled.

“They claim I am receiving a percentage off of the illegal vendors, as well as confining people under the boardwalk,” Vargas wrote on the Coney Island Dancers’ Facebook page. “This is ludicrous. They are implicating that I am merchandising T-shirts and this is not true.”

Vargas later clarified to the Post that he’s being wrongfully accused of actually locking people up in a shed under the boardwalk that his group controls.

Mark strongly denied Vargas’s accusations in a statement put out by his lawyer.

“Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths and one of the characteristics of this community that makes us so special. I would never try to change that – I’m part of it!” Mark said.

Look at what some hate-filled clown did. A reader sent this photo in this morning. It happened on Avenue Z and Haring Street, an area where many of the community’s Muslim residents live.

We’re waiting to hear if this was reported to police, and if it’s being investigated as a hate crime.

Update (10:45 a.m.): Reader Vadym S. confirms that police are investigating. We’re still waiting to hear from NYPD whether or not it’s being referred to the Hate Crimes Unit.

Update (12:45 p.m.): Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has weighed in, with a statement condemning the vandalism.

This revolting act of prejudice was meant to intimidate New Yorkers on their streets and in their homes – but because of our unity and our strength, it’s not going to work. We won’t stand for anti-Muslim bigotry – not in Sheepshead Bay, not in Brooklyn, not anywhere in our city. Anyone with information on these perpetrators should come forward right away by calling 1-800-577-TIPS.

Update (2:28 p.m.): District Leader Ari Kagan, a candidate for City Council, also weighed in:

I was deeply saddened and troubled to learn of yesterday’s hate crime, targeting Muslims, in Sheepshead Bay. Southern Brooklyn is a vibrant, diverse community, home to families from all across the world. There is absolutely no place for such hateful behavior in our communities. We must stand with our District Attorney to ensure these perpetrators are brought to justice. Our neighbors will, of course, assist the NYPD with their investigation. I encourage any one with information on this crime to step forward.

Kagan, it’s worth noting, is against the Voorhies Avenue mosque, protests over which some say has made this kind of anti-Muslim sentiment publicly acceptable.

Students from the Millennium Development/Starrett City with former pro baseball player Terry McFarlin (top row left) and Mets Hall of Fame pitcher John Franco (top row in 42 cap)

Over 200 students from an assortment of Brooklyn youth groups celebrated Jackie Robinson day Monday by meeting some ex-baseball players and getting a private screening of the new movie about Jackie Robinson, 42, at the Regal Cinemas in Sheepshead Bay, according to a press release.

The kids, who spent the day hearing stories from former ballplayers John Franco and Terry McFarlin, were culled from the Marlboro Housing Development, Millennium Development/Starrett City, and the Coney Island Communities youth groups. They learned about the groundbreaking heroism exhibited by Jackie Robinson in the face of intense hatred and bigotry as he broke baseball’s color barrier back in 1947.

Franco and McFarlin, both products of Southern Brooklyn, also shared powerful words of wisdom with the children on hand.

“Stay focused on the goals you set for yourself and never stop working to improve yourself in a effort to achieve those goals,”  said ex-Met Franco.

“The more you put into something, the more you will get out of it. Always give 100 percent in whatever you do and more often than not, you will be successful,” added McFarlin.

In honor of Jackie Robinson day Monday, every player in the major leagues wore the number 42. Jackie’s number is also ceremoniously retired by every team in baseball.

The event was sponsored by the Municipal Credit Union (MCU) and the Brooklyn Cyclones, the New York Met Class-A affiliate.

The Sephardic Community Federation (SCF) is actively working to inform their members and supporters of their stance on congressional candidate Charles Barron.

Community leaders have already come out denouncing Barron for what they say is his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda.

The SCF-sponsored full page ads in various major Jewish publications over the weekend, according to Yeshiva World News. They spent $16,000 in media ads and sent out over 10,000 mailers to residents of Brighton Beach, Canarsie, Coney Island, Crown Heights, Marine Park, Manhattan Beach, Mill Basin, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Seagate.

In the ads, they write about his viewpoints and encourage residents to come out and vote against him tomorrow, June 26.

Barron is running against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. The winner will be the Democratic candidate in the November election for the congressional seat currently occupied by Ed Towns, who is retiring.

New York, December 20, 1909. "S.L. Clemens." Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, aboard the Bermudian after a trip to Bermuda, four months before his death. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. Source: Shorpy

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” ― Ray Bradbury

BETWEEN THE LINES: About 18 months ago, a debate took place at a Canarsie elementary school over a book of poems, when parents objected to some content, such as an anti-war poem with a line that President Bush “loves war so much he gets an erection,” and another about a crack-addicted hooker performing lewd acts.

City Councilman Charles Barron, who wrote the forward to the 2006 collection — which was authored by his goddaughter, Tylibah Washington — defended the book, noting it “speaks to the experiences and struggles of inner city youth,” though he subsequently acknowledged portions of it might be inappropriate for pre-teens.

Nevertheless, in a follow-up, Barron — who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for the newly-created 8th Congressional District seat — objected to editing the poetry book, yet he called for removing Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from classrooms because the “despicable N” word is used numerous times.

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Local elected officials representing Southern Brooklyn communities, joined by former Mayor Ed Koch, stood before the Museum of Jewish Heritage yesterday morning to denounce Brooklyn City Councilmember Charles Barron as an anti-Semite, and urged voters to ensure defeat for Barron’s attempt to become a congressman.

Barron is competing against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in a June 26 primary. The winner will be the Democratic candidate in the November election for the congressional seat currently occupied by Ed Towns, who is retiring.

Because of redistricting, the current 10th Congressional District will become the 8th District and move further south, covering neighborhoods including parts of Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach. With an area so densely populated by Jewish residents, Koch end the local elected are urging voters to show up on June 26 and stop a candidate they say has pushed an extreme anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda.

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Manhattan Borough President – and mayoral contender - Scott Stringer sent out the following statement shortly after our report on Friday about the Avenue Z Jewish Center (875 Avenue Z) being vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. He wrote:

I am outraged by the news that the Avenue Z Jewish Center in Brooklyn has once again been defaced by anti-Semitic vandals, with graffiti on the entrance door to the center, as well as a sidewalk and nearby synagogue windows. There is no place in our community for this kind of vulgar and cowardly attack—and memories are still fresh of the February, 2011 vandalism at the center which looted a donation box and destroyed a large menorah and a Torah. I urge anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact the NYPD immediately, and I have no doubt that through their great work these perpetrators will be caught.

To our knowledge, the Manhattan politician is the only elected official to issue a statement relating to this incident.

An example of the graffiti found in front of the Avenue Z Jewish Center (Photo: Ari Kagan)

Ari Kagan, the Russian-American journalist and community liaison for Comptroller John Liu, dropped us a note informing us that the Avenue Z Jewish Center (875 Avenue Z)  was hit again by anti-Semitic vandals over the weekend, making it the second incident in a little over a year.

According to Kagan:

Graffiti appeared on the entrance door of the Avenue Z Jewish Center, as well as at a sidewalk leading to it. President of the center Jay Freeze and board member Felix Filler expressed real concern about numerous signs on a sidewalk, like “Russ Jews”, “Jews”, “Russ” and stars of David. Similar graffiti with the same handwriting could be seen at the windows of the synagogue.

In February 2011, vandals smashed the back window of the Avenue Z Jewish Center and stole $200 from a donation box. They also destroyed a large menorah and a Torah, costing thousands of dollars. The perps were never found, despite a $1,000 reward offered by Councilman Michael Nelson.

According to Kagan, the Avenue Z Jewish Center has informed the NYPD’s 60th Precinct and Community Board 13, and will soon install security cameras to guard the entrance.

Correction (12:28 p.m.): The original version of this article inaccurately stated that the center notified Community Board 15. It was actually Community Board 13. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

The Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn’s forum on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, originally scheduled for this afternoon, has been postponed.

A new date has yet to be selected.

On the upside, the organization’s director has told Sheepshead Bites they’ll be using the time between now and the rescheduled forum to tweak the program, taking feedback from Sheepshead Bites’ commenters into consideration.

The group said they hope to add a local a rabbi to the program, as well as possibly split it into two events – one in the afternoon for students, and one later in the day for adults.

More information will be posted as the group firms up its plans.

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