Statement by Anthony Beckford, condemning racist statements and the politicians that are complicit to the racism against Black and Brown children of Urban Dove School in Midwood:
"I am going to call the current preliminary injunction request what it is; RACIST. When you state that you are concerned about public safety with Black and Latino children of Urban Dove School being in the area, that right there is a red flag and a clear indicator of racism and bigotry. This will not be tolerated. There is already enough issues going on right now in this country with right wing racist individuals and white supremacist groups putting the lives of Black people at risk for police violence and who have committed acts of violence against Black people as well.
Back in December 2019, many news publications exposed the racist rhetoric and divisiveness of those who are opposed to the students going to school in the community. I was at the meeting and saw the protest that occured a few weeks later and the language used was disgusting. (Op-Ed in KCP: https://www.kingscountypolitics.com/protecting-our-black-and-brown-children-from-racism-bias-and-sell-out-politicians/)
Yeshiva World published a story that brought to light a letter signed by Farah Louis of District 45, Council Member Chaim Deutsch, Council Member Kalman Yeger, along with Assemblymembers Rodneyse Bichotte and Simcha Eichenstein and New York State Senator Simcha Felder. This is when I gave them the name, "The Bias 6", due to both the bias and the anti-Blackness they support, condone and have basically acted out themselves by drafting and signing that letter saying that they support not having Urban Dove being allowed to be at the location. As reported by Kings County Politics in December 2019, various sources did confirm that a politically powerful orthodox Flatbush Jewish organization was the driving force behind packing a meeting at East Midwood Jewish Center in regards to Urban Dove and it's students where various racist comments were stated throughout the meeting by those who oppose the children being able to attend school in that location. This was followed by a protest where more racist rhetoric was heard. This organization is said to be connected to Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, supported Farah Louis for her 2019 City Council race and support many other politicians in the area.
The board for the center casted a unanimous vote to allow Urban Dove to be given the lease and for the students to attend school in it's school building that is located behind the East Midwood Jewish Center. This is when "The Bias 6" should have stepped back and kept their mouths shut, but instead their involvement and cosigning of the school and students to be relocated only encouraged the racist, anti-Black behavior. We all know what it means when people label Black and Latinx children as "urban". So imagine when the context is, "urban kids who know how to fight". This is a classic racist narrative that these children are violent and are savages with no behavior or discipline. It was also stated that these children will "bring guns to school, violence to the community, sexual activity and will harass yeshiva girls due to "raging hormones and immature neocortex". These Black and Latinx children who are trying to get an education and achieve the goals that they have set for their lives and that their teachers will be guiding them to do, are basically being labeled as out of control savages.
I am disgusted by this vile racist, filthy behavior of these bigots who have labeled these children this way. I am disgusted by the complicity by the 6 politicians, Farah Louis, Rodneyse Bichotte, Simcha Felder, Simcha Eichenstein, Kalman Yeger and Chaim Deutsch who have basically supported this divisive, racist, cowardly dehumanizing rhetoric with their letter. No amount of walking back or even an apology can allow us to forget this moment. We are supposed to be unified as a community and not divided. This is real. This is what is going on in 2020. This is what is going on in New York City in 2020. This exposes the level of racism that still exists as well as those who choose to sell out their own people, whether it is for votes, campaign donations or political power. This reminds me of 6 year old Ruby Bridges, who was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis on November 14, 1960. I have stated from the beginning, that I support these students and will not stay silent in regards to any pushback they receive.
I want to commend and thank the board of East Midwood Jewish Center, the staff, Rabbi Sam Levine and the community members and the actual attendees of the East Midwood Jewish Center for showing their good nature and standing with the students of Urban Dove.
*Anthony Beckford is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Community Leader, Organizer, Advocate, President of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and City Council Candidate for the 45th District in which the school is in.
For more information on how you can help support these students, you can reach out to [email protected]