plain speaking irks ADL

NYC Council hopeful asks constituents: “A White/Jewish
City Council Member representing Upper Manhattan?”

Rachel Hirshfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec 2 2012

A candidate for a position on NYC’s 7th Council District said he opposed to the candidacy of his Jewish opponent, whom he referred to a “White/Jewish candidate”, because he was trying “to sneak into office like a thief in the night.” City Council hopeful Thomas Lopez-Pierre wrote an e-mail to the members of the Douglass Grant Democratic Club, stating his opposition to rival Mark Levine. The subject line of the e-mail: “A White/Jewish City Council Member representing Upper Manhattan?” In an interview with the Jewish Week, Lopez-Pierre said:

I don’t hate Jews; I love black people. 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. I don’t want a councilman that represents all the people. I want a councilman who represents my community. The 7th District is in upper Manhattan, which is 70% black and Latino. They said, “Those Jews are gonna lynch you.” But because I work for myself, I don’t have to answer to anyone. I would support a white candidate who represented issues important to blacks and Latinos, but not Levine.

When asked why he did not highlight issues other than race or religion in his email, Lopez-Pierre said:

So that the media would call me and I could get the message out.

Ron Meier of the ADL told the Jewish Week:

Introducing race and religion into a city council election as a stand-in for qualifications is offensive to all voters in the district and offensive to the democratic process.

In an interview last week, Levine said:

I have a long history of involvement in the community. I built a nonprofit community credit union with 4,000 members, 90% of whom are Latino or African American. I’m completely bilingual and comfortable campaigning in Spanish, as I have done in the past. Lopez-Pierre’s remarks are so outrageous they don’t even merit a response.

Lopez-Pierre has come under harsh public scrutiny in the past. The Columbia Spectator described him as “best known for his racially and sexually charged rhetoric.” According to the NYT, his previous contributions to the Harlem community include running a private social club for blacks and Latinos which women could only join as associate members conditioned upon them being “35 or younger, unmarried, childless, college-educated and willing to submit a head-to-toe photograph to prevent unattractive women from making the cut.”

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