On Monday, mayoral frontrunner and former policeman Eric Adams told CNN he would fight crime the way late Mayor David Dinkins had done. If you’re Jewish, the name Dinkins is forever branded for you by the August 19 to August 21, 1991 Crown Heights pogrom, when Dinkins failed to contain the rioters and held police back for three days, which resulted in the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum Hy’d, numerous injured Jews, looted stores, and damaged cars and homes. The rioters identified Jewish homes by the mezuzot on their doors.
You’d think that associating himself with the mayor who is remembered for his hostility to the Jewish community would lose candidate Adams the race. So far it hasn’t, and the backing he continues to receive comes—of all places—from Crown Heights Jews.
Asked by CNN’s John Berman if his crime prevention style would be like Bill de Blasio or Rudy Giuliani, Adams said: “Oh no, it would look like what David Dinkins’ looked like.”
Dinkins, the city’s only black mayor, won against Giuliani with 51% of the votes in 1989 and lost with 48% in 1993. A major factor in his loss was his perceived indifference to the plight of the Jewish community during the Crown Heights riot. Apparently, those 3% of the voters who turned against him all had mezuzot on their front doors.
“I just don’t support taking away our law enforcement apparatus as a former police officer and as a person who has worked for social justice in the city.”
— New Day (@NewDay) June 7, 2021
However, on Tuesday, a group calling itself United Crown Heights, led by Rabbi Yosef Yeshaya Braun, a member of the Crown Heights Beth Din, announced that despite the CNN clip of Eric Adams that spread like a wildfire on social media, Crown Heights activists still see him as “our only choice” for mayor.”
The Orthodox Jewish news Service Col-Live posted the group’s response (Crown Heights Sticks With Eric Adams), where they explain that “we need to look beyond the cropped fourteen-second clip and see the full interview which is below. Eric was referring to a specific model that former Mayor Dinkins developed. A tactic that his predecessor Giuliani and Bloomberg both continued. He wasn’t referring to Dinkin’s incompetence or weak policies.”
Good to know. Incidentally, The Jewish Press has endorsed Eric Adams, so naturally, we’re hoping he will think twice about following Dinkins’ Crown Heights example.
An NY1 survey this week, two weeks ahead of the June 22 Democratic primaries, shows Adams with 22% of the votes, leading over Andrew Yang’s 16%, and in third place Kathryn García with 15%. Scott Stringer has 10%, Maya Wiley 9%, Dianne Morales 5%, Ray Maguire 4%, and Shaun Donovan 3%. Also – 16% still undecided.
However, that survey was conducted before Wiley’s all-out endorsement by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the New York Times interview with a second woman who is accusing Scott Stringer of sexual misconduct.