Apr 15, 2018
Avoid Being Played As Pawns

Crown Heights resident Barry Sugar doesn't believe Assemblywoman Diana Richardson's denial of a rant against Jews.

By Barry Sugar

On April 2nd, our elected representative chose to spew a rant aimed at dividing the community she is elected to serve.

Sadly, it is easy to believe Assemblywoman Diana Richardson spoke the exact words she is quoted as saying. As the New York Post reported, she asked for recording equipment to be turned off before speaking at the meeting in question. Clearly, she knew her remarks could be hurtful.

As for the two-week-late denial she issued? Ms. Richardson is a politician who said what politicians say when caught making racist statements. Voters can interpret her words any way they wish.

What is most important—critically and urgently important—is that members of the Jewish community scurried to support her denial with so little regard for the potential impact of their actions.

According to the Post, Ms. Richardson spent as long as 50 minutes (!) ranting against "whites and Jews," including snidely referring to senator Simcha Felder as "the Jewish senator."

The assemblywoman did not at first deny blaming Jews and whites for troubles that residents of all backgrounds face. Only after repeated pressure did she finally deny using the exact phrase attributed to her.

Bizarrely, her statement quotes two token members of the Jewish community who buy her denial, vouch for her character and hand her a free pass to wave at us any time she'd like.

Did those who present as community spokespeople speak up with concern when her offensive rant was first reported? No.

Did community liaisons challenge her attitude and insist that only her future actions can prove her remorse? No.

Did they explain that hundreds of Jewish families are just-as harshly impacted by the cost of housing and services she casually blames on our people? No.

The city's third-largest paper had no problem running a story on Ms. Richardson's alarming worldview. Could our own brothers muster no more than sheepish acceptance of her calculated denial?

From the unanimous tone of the comments on this site and from conversations across the Jewish community, I say confidently: we do not accept any form of race-baiting or labeling from our representatives.

If those with influence can hold Ms. Richardson—and all elected officials—accountable to sincerely change, they will avoid being played as her pawns in the future.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
A guy who says it real
Agree with Sugar! He sees clearly!
My vote goes to Beryl!!!
(4/16/2018 12:16:47 AM)
this is a great article...
...that will have no effect. unfortunately, nobody cares and politics as usual will just continue.
(4/16/2018 1:21:39 AM)
Well said
The problem is that some people will do anything to get their picture printed,
Even dance with the devil.
(4/16/2018 2:46:07 AM)
Boro parker
Just get everyone of age registered to vote and outvote her. The more votes the more the politicians will watch what they say or do. Simple
(4/16/2018 3:33:15 AM)
Barry says the EMES! He is NOT afraid. UNLIKE our community leaders. Unfortunately I learned the hard way but Barry was there to help our family in the hardest of times and NOT the community "leaders" who are politicians and NOTHING more!
(4/16/2018 4:26:44 AM)
It's long overdue
Time for elections for Vaad Hakaol!
anyone second that?
(4/16/2018 4:59:14 AM)
“Community leaders”
These self proclaimed “spokespeople”, “Liaisons” & “activists” speak for no one but themselves, its known that yvette Clark was from the only representatives to vote for the Iran deal(!).
Unfortunately the situation now reflects clearly that they dont have to vote the minds of those they represent, because history has shown time and time again that there will be no repercussions to what the elected officials do or say.

Drain the swamp, get rid of any unelected activists who are for the most lart in it for some photops (or worse), and elect intelligent people who will hold our politicians responsible by using the clout of out votes to make sure our politicians respect us.
(4/16/2018 7:59:08 AM)
Note who the Lubavitcher is in this photo
Just like always, it's certainly not just an average Crown Heights Chabadnik: it's one of the usual politicos.

And in the original COLLive article about this situation, who were the Lubavitchers there? Mr. Cohen and Mr. Lipkind, if I am not mistaken.

As ALWAYS, Rep. Richardson, and most of the others, only extend token gestures toward us since we don't represent a big enough voting bloc for them to bother with anyone other than the self-appointed (and usually paid!) "liaisons."

If these reps. and senators would actually and sincerely reach out to the Jewish community here, not just once in a while but consistently, these "liaisons" would be out of business!

Read Pirkei Avos 2:3 and 6:5.
(4/16/2018 8:05:35 AM)
Amazing article. On beryl speaks the truth. Our so called leaders are too afraid.
(4/16/2018 8:15:33 AM)
To all C.H. non-voters: YOUR fault we have her!
"I'm to busy/lazy to vote".
"It won't make a difference anyway".

Now thank yourself for trash like her "representing" us.
(4/16/2018 8:41:16 AM)
BS"D Yes new elections
(4/16/2018 8:56:20 AM)
Diana has no mandate
In the last election she ran unopposed. She was arrested that day for hitting her son but she won anyway. It's time to run a quality candidate from our community who will care about ALL the residents of crown heights

(4/16/2018 9:14:02 AM)
Politicians are motivated by expediency
Let her have her plausible sensibility. As they used to say, Don't shoot the Kaiser, the next one could be worse. Now she knows she owes us one.
(4/16/2018 9:26:18 AM)
To all the comments complaining about this
You vote? No?
You're to blame for her being our politician.
(4/16/2018 9:52:29 AM)
Like John Bolton said regarding the UN
"If the UN secretariat building lost 10 stories it wouldn't make a bit of a difference" same exact can be said for the JCC of CH .....
(4/16/2018 11:02:27 AM)
Sugar is Sweet!
Barry Sugar speaks the truth and is not afraid! We need people like him running our community!
(4/16/2018 11:43:16 AM)
Joe D
Yaakov B did not say that she 'for sure' didn't say those words. He says that based on his conversations with people who were there he doesn't 'think' that she said those words. Past that Richardson didn't win her race with our votes, if we all remember correctly she won biggly without us even though she owes us nothing she still tries to be a good team player but she's clearly catering to the lowest income minority members of greater c.h. she herself actually lives in an apartment so she relates to apartment renters unfortunately due to a mixture of straight out anti semitism and some genuinely evil landlords who look frum on the outside there is a lot of hate and bad education on this subject. Hopefully we can all pick up from this event and double down on working better together.
(4/16/2018 12:59:55 PM)
Number 6
One million percent correct
(4/16/2018 1:14:17 PM)
Yankel Goldstein
For the record . We all get notices from our State Senator Jesse Hamilton and Assemblywoman Richardson to attend various Community events hosted by each to help our Community and receive valuable information at these events . Have you ever noticed what day of the week they occur ALWAYS ON SHABBOS . They DO NOT care about us only when it comes to votes and to take pictures . They will give you stupid , non plausible answers as they have told me on more than one occasion as to why they have to make the events on Shabbos . Find them , challenge them and ask them why .
(4/16/2018 2:04:53 PM)
barry g-d bless you
you are the mench of the hood
(4/16/2018 3:13:46 PM)
Let it go
She denied the statement. That’s it. Let it go.
(4/16/2018 8:23:27 PM)
To Berel Sugar
For the sake of Crown Heights, PLEASE GET MORE INVOLVED! You won't remember me but we worked together 20+ years ago to get better policing, more funding & a change in CHJCC leadership. I guess like me, you got burned out, but CH needs you - honest, forthright, and sincere.
(4/17/2018 7:53:12 AM)
Something is wrong here,
we probably need elections for a new vaad. If hash v’shalom we have elected officials fostering disunity, disharmony, and the opposite of peace in the neighborhood it’s no wonder there was a brutal attack on a Jew Friday night in front of 770 and the possibility of a riot on Empire Blvd. e’rev Yom Tov! Sometimes rotten somewhere, but the vaad just continues to stick their heads in th sand. Not good!!
(4/17/2018 8:05:38 AM)
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