Brooklyn Politician Blames ‘Jewish Success’ For ‘Knock Out Game’

Laurie Cumbo, a councilwoman-elect in Brooklyn, N.Y., believes alleged “Knock Out Game” attacks against Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood may have been fueled by “resentment” against the Jewish community.

In a letter sent to her supporters and posted on her Facebook page Tuesday, Cumbo shared her thoughts about a “recent epidemic of the ‘Knock Out Game’ in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn and throughout the Nation.” 

“I admire the Jewish community immensely. I am particularly inspired by the fact that the Jewish community has not assimilated to the dominant American culture, and has preserved their religious and cultural values while remaining true to themselves. I respect and appreciate the Jewish community’s family values and unity that has led to strong political, economic and cultural gains,” Cumbo wrote. “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.”

Cumbo, who is black, described attending a community forum organized by Rabbi Chanina Sperlin to address the “Knock Out Game” where she discussed her theories about the alleged attacks. 

“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,” wrote Cumbo. “I relayed these sentiments at the forum not as an insult to the Jewish community, but rather to 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.”

Cumbo also wrote that she “recognize(s) the severity of these recent crimes” and supports “a detailed investigation, which I am confident will lead to arrests and legal action.”

(h/t DNAInfo)

Photo via Cumbo’s Facebook account.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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