At least it is if this guy gets elected:
Two inflammatory emails landed like a pair of hand grenades in the middle of the race for a City Council seat in upper Manhattan — but local Democrats predict they’ll both turn out to be duds.
Controversial would-be Councilman Thomas Lopez-Pierre branded one of his political rivals a “White/Jewish candidate” in an e-mail sent Tuesday — and pointedly accused him of trying “to sneak into office like a thief in the night.”
The race-and-religion baiting continued in a second e-mail on Wednesday when Lopez-Pierre said if his opponent triumphed, he would “serve the White power elite at the expense of Black and Hispanic communities uptown.”
“He’s not a part of our community,” Lopez-Pierre told The News, referring to Levine. “We cannot trust him to protect us in the City Council.”
The fireworks came after Lopez-Pierre, who has been raising cash for politicians who support charter schools, sent an e-mail with the subject line, “A White/Jewish City Council Member representing Upper Manhattan?”
He proposed holding a private meeting to try to limit the number of candidates in the Council race, settling on one black and one Latino candidate to prevent the votes from being split.
If there are numerous black and Latino candidates, it will permit Levine to “sneak into office (like a thief in the night),” he wrote.
Mr. Lopez-Pierre should know better. Anyone who’s lived in upper-Manhattan (as I did for several years) knows Jews have long lived in Washington Heights:
In the years after World War II, the neighborhood was referred to as Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson for the dense population of German and Austrian Jews who had settled there. A disproportionately large number of Germans who settled in the area had come from Frankfurt-am-Main, possibly giving rise to new name. No other neighborhood in the city was home to so many German Jews, who had created their own central German world in the 1930s.
So cosmopolitan was that world that in 1934 members of the German-Jewish Club of New York started Aufbau, a newsletter for its members that grew into a newspaper. Its offices were nearby on Broadway. The newspaper became known as a “prominent intellectual voice and a main forum for German Jewry in the United States,” according to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. “It featured the work of great prominent writers and intellectuals such as Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, Stefan Zweig, and Hannah Arendt. It was one of the only newspapers to report on the atrocities of the Holocaust during World War II.”
The 1985 film We Were So Beloved tells the stories of neighborhood Jews who escaped the Holocaust. When their children grew up they tended to leave the neighborhood, and sometimes, the city. By 1960 German Jews accounted for only 16% of the population in Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson. The neighborhood became less overtly Jewish into the 1970s as Soviet immigrants moved to the area.
Washington Heights remains the home of Khal Adath Jeshurun (KAJ or “Breuer’s”), the German-Jewish Ashkenazi congregation established in the late 1930s. The congregation maintains the German-Jewish mode of worship, its liturgy, practices, and distinctive melodies. There are several educational institutions associated with KAJ as well.
The smell of cabbage stewing somewhere was prevalent in the lobby of every apartment building when I lived in the area. Maybe not so much anymore, but absolutely 100% of them in my day.
But we have him all wrong, Lopez-Pierre tells us:
“I don’t hate Jews; I love black people,” said Lopez-Pierre, 45, who is African American. “I love political empowerment. … A black person has represented the district for many years, and we don’t want to see the black and Latino caucus be minus one.”
“All I did was throw more light on the deliberations,” he said. “We need to come together to pick a candidate that represents our community in terms of values and racial background. A City Council member’s job is to represent an individual district, and 70 percent of this district is black and Latino. I don’t want a councilman that represents all the people; I want a councilman who represents my community.”
“They said those Jews are gonna lynch you,” Lopez-Pierre said. “But because I work for myself, I don’t have to answer to anyone. I have the cojones, the balls, to send out this e-mail.”
Lopez-Pierre said he would support a white candidate whom he felt represented issues important to blacks and Latinos, such as former Manhattan Assemblyman Ed Sullivan, but did not feel Levine would be such a person.
Really? So it’s not whiteness per se that Lopez-Pierre objects to. It’s something else.
“A White/Jewish City Council Member representing Upper Manhattan?”
Would that be so bad?
Levine, 41, is executive director of the Center for After-School Excellence, a nonprofit that supports after-school programs. Though a Baltimore native he has lived in and raised his family in Washington Heights since 1995.
He has run previous unsuccessful campaigns for City Council and state Senate.
Levine said he has known Lopez-Pierre for about 12 years but was “shocked to see the message and be targeted in that way.”
In an interview Tuesday, Levine noted that he had a long history of involvement in the community. “I built a nonprofit community credit union with 4,000 members, 90 percent of whom are Latino or African American,” he said. “I also founded the Barack Obama Democratic Club.”
A-ha! I think we found something! Hands off the Messiah, white boy: he’s mine.