PATERSON, NJ - Area elected officials and Demoratic Party leaders continued to speak out Thursday against a statement made by First Ward Councilman Mike Jackson during a debate on the future of Hinchliffe Stadium on Tuesday. As previously reported, while offering his views on past transactions the city has engaged in Jackson used the phrase “Jew us down,” in reference to investor’s efforts to obtain property below their value.
Calling the comment “inexcusable,” Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie said that “divisive language like this pushes us back in time and tears back the progress we have made to build a state and nation that embraces the principles of equality and justice,” before recommending that members of the Paterson City Council “stand together and censure him immediately.”
“Councilman Jackson’s remarks were unacceptable by any standard. I condemn his hate speech wholeheartedly, especially coming from an elected official representing one of the most diverse cities in New Jersey,” Assemblyman Gary Schaer of the 36th Legislative District said.
Shaer, the first Orthodox Jew to serve in the New Jersey Legislature, continued by offering his appreciation to elected officials such as Mayor Andre Sayegh and Sixth Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz who immediately spoke out against the comments.
“We should all stand together as one community against targeted and hateful speech. Words have consequences, and those who hold elected office must be held to a higher standard.”
Paterson Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly said that Jackson’s comments send the wrong message to the entire community, especially children and young people calling any hate speech “an attack on us all.”
Referring to the comment as a “poor selection of words” Paterson Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter urged that everyone “show genuine respect for each other at all times and put hateful and divisive rhetoric to the side so that we can all work together."
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