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Hate Grows in Brooklyn?

There’s been a lot of controversy over something called the “Knock Out Game” in which young attackers punch people in the face with no obvious motive or reason. Some (mostly right wing) outlets are warning about a national epidemic of hate crimes, some (mostly left wing) sites have been calling it much ado about nothing and relegating the story to the category of “urban myth.”

In the latest twist, Laurie Cumbo, a newly elected member of the NY City Council from Brooklyn (who is African-American) has released an open letter, which you can read on her Facebook page, in which she says that these attacks (NY police are investigating a number of incidents) near Crown Heights may be the fault of local Jewish residents.

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. 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.

Like many well meaning people before her, Cumbo seems to have put her foot in her mouth when discussing delicate issues relating to culture and race. She seems to be sincere in wanting to enhance the dialog between the communities, and appears to be going through a learning process about how to do that.

But also, it would appear that if African American politicians are trying to explain the phenomenon, it’s time to accept the obvious truth that while the “Knock Out Game” is not exactly sweeping the country, it is not all myth, that hate crimes no know color and that young louts of every hue are capable of ugly acts of violence against innocent people. There is never a good reason or an excuse for violence in the name of race hate or religious bigotry.

[Brooklyn Bridge photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Pete

    Why do you imply that a narrow minded bigot like this Cumbo woman is “well meaning?”
    Is it because she’s black and political correctness makes you bend over backward to excuse her latent hate for Jews?

    • rheddles

      It is not at all apparent that she hates Jews.She concedes knock-out is a hate crime. She just tries to make excuses for the way criminals behave the same way in the same way white liberals do.

      • Pete

        Come on. Would she make excuses if whites were going around slugging blacks at random? Of course not.

        • rheddles

          So she’s racist and prejudiced. Not unlike some in this thread. That doesn’t equate to hating Jews.

          • Pete

            In today’s environment, to be a racist is to be a hater …. or so says the thought police.
            But of course, the point you make is absolutely correct. I thank you for the clarification.

          • Corlyss

            The term racist has lost all meaning in the culture wars for AT LEAST the last 40 years. When we arrived at the point where minorities were exonerated from their racism by their minorityhood, and whites are deemed racist without any evidence other than pointing out trends in black communities, there’s a lot of minority denial and liberal government-enforced silence clogging the arteries of dialog. Haters may always be haters, but speakers of facts are not perforce haters. Remember Moynihan’s injunction: People are entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts.

          • Corlyss

            It does when the target is so obvious.

      • free_agent

        No, she’s not making excuses, at not overtly, she’s explaining why it happens. It isn’t just some random act of senseless violence. And that is the common pattern in crime, the people who commit it have criminal tendencies, sure, but there are specific reasons why they commit the crimes they do — the patterns are comprehensible.

        In the long run, that makes it easier to try to reduce the crime rate. In this case, it seems to be a typical case of resentment of gentrification. The best solution for that is changing policies to reduce the price of housing, i.e., allowing more building.

  • Fat_Man

    “the “Knock Out Game” in which young attackers punch people in the face with no obvious motive or reason.”

    Should read:

    the “Knock Out Game” in which young African American attackers punch defenseless white or Asian people in the face often while their confederates video the attack to post on social media.

    • michaelj68

      That sub-class of the “Knock Out Game” has been referred to as “Polar Bear Hunting”. I have not seen any statistics as to the race of the victims of this crime.

      • Corlyss

        And you wont see any statistics from the police, either. That makes it easier to claim the sport is an urban myth. You can bet, however, if the victims were black or Latino Holder would open storefront DoJ offices in Brooklyn, hold news conferences with Red Bill, and deplore the state of race relations and hate-mongering in NYC Jewish and white communities. No doubt Ms. Cumbo will lead the rallies in defense of any black kids caught playing the game.

  • Fat_Man

    ” while the “Knock Out Game” is not exactly sweeping the country”

    It won’t become popular in places where concealed carry is widespread.

    • Corlyss

      But that certainly won’t be NYC under any conditions.

    • free_agent

      You write, “It won’t become popular in places where concealed carry is widespread.”

      The legal aspects of that are fascinating. As far as I know, if you’re male, and someone punches you, it’s not considered justification for using deadly force in self-defense.

      OTOH, just the possibility of being illegally killed in excessive self-sefense may still be enough to suppres the Knock Out Game.

  • Anthony

    “…Cumbo seems to have put her foot in her mouth when discussing issues relating to culture and race…she seems to be sincere in wanting to enhance dialog….” Sincerity WRM has very little to do with it. Your brief assessment while valid is symbolic of larger problem – elected officials void of not only social intelligence but also functional responsibilities of representative leadership. And while not knowing specifics of Brooklyn New York facts, I concur that crime (not just hate) knows no color and young (as well as old) of every hue can/will commit disgusting violence; that ought to be foremost in Ms. Cumbo’s account – our Republic’s dearth…

    • Corlyss

      “She seems to be sincere in wanting to enhance dialog….”
      More useless blather from VM. I’m not ascribing this article to WRM. I think he fails to exercise both judgment and supervision in selecting and overseeing the ignorant and juvenile tripe put out in his name.

  • bigfire

    So it’s Jew’s fault for attacking black men’s fists with their face?

  • AD_Rtr_OS

    Voters get the government that they deserve.

  • lukelea

    “young louts of every hue are capable of ugly acts of violence against innocent people”

    Is that what this is about? I thought this was supposed to be a black on white phenomenon, which, if the roles were reversed, would be reported as hate crimes.

    Matt Yglesias was a victim but refuses to admit it. The perpetrators are obviously clueless as to the ramifications of their game. Somebody needs to clue them in. Namely, the adults in their community. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is not a way to go.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Mandatory concealed carry for all adults, would put an end to most violent crime instantly. It would also put an end to these vile rampages where dozens of people are murdered and wounded. People on aircraft would be required to load safety rounds which won’t penetrate the pressure cabin, and airport security would have their responsibility simplified to a more reasonable searching for bombs and terrorists (and I could keep my pocket knife and nail clippers, and I wouldn’t have to strip, just show my gun and ammo, and that I’m not carrying a bomb, and walk on by.).

    • free_agent

      “would put an end to most violent crime instantly” … excepting people killing family, friends, and acquaintances with whom they are having disputes. And those cases account for 1/3 to 2/3 of all homicides.

  • free_agent

    In my experience, poor-ish people of color (which is the community Ms. Cumbo represents, even if it isn’t the class she is a member of) aren’t nearly as squeamish and politically correct as “left wing sites”. At least she’s trying to get into public knowledge what the underlying dynamic of this new problem is.

    As far as I can see, it’s a matter of resentment of gentrification. (Living in Boston, I’ve heard of much of that.) Perhaps policies that reduce the cost of housing in NYC would help.

    And while we’re at it, how many of these assaults are there? Does the damage to the target demographic anywhere near the statistical risk, say, of being run over by a taxi? This may be another “stranger danger” media flap…

  • qet

    Contrast the Councillor’s view on Brooklyn with this author’s view: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/bogus-brands-brooklyn-article-1.1536677

    “The nature of the city is such that someone is always elbowing out someone else, and eventually getting elbowed themselves.”

    Apparently not until now were random assaults on defenseless people invented as an excusable reaction to the march of the city’s history.

  • http://www.federaleagent86.blogspot.com/ Federale

    This wasn’t putting her foot in her mouth, it was an inadvertent look into her soul, which is filled with racist hatred of whites and Jews.

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