The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s apology from Brooklyn Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo for remarks she made in a December 3 open letter to her constituents in which she cited “Jewish success” as one of a number of factors that had triggered rising resentment among African-Americans in the Crown Heights community.
In her apology, the incoming city councilwoman expressed remorse for “any pain that I have caused by what I wrote.” Ms. Combo indicated that she had taken time to reflect on her words and to meet with Jewish, African-American and Caribbean leaders across New York, and said that she now understands, “that my words did not convey what was in my heart, which is a profound desire to bring our diverse communities closer together.”
Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome Ms. Cumbo’s apology and her recognition that her remarks about the Jewish community evoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and as such were deeply offensive. We are encouraged by her desire to build bridges in the community and to work to promote positive relations between people of all backgrounds in her council district.
It takes hard work and a steadfast commitment to achieve common ground in diverse neighborhoods. As an organization that has worked for more than 20 years to improve Black-Jewish relations in Crown Heights, we stand ready to work with the councilwoman and various leadership organizations – many of whom also have invested over two decades into fostering strong communal relations – to continue this important dialogue.