Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – March 1, 2013

This Weekend Edition has a decidedly New York focus – just one of those things. It turns out that Marco Rubio, fresh from his audition for “Water Boy 2” is coming to New York to raise campaign money – and to explain his vote against Sandy aid for New Yorkers. Meanwhile, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is locally famous for his ardent defense against even a whiff of a hint of anti-Semitism, chose a Purim celebration to do an Al Jolson imitation. And finally, a Manhattan public school teacher gave math word problems to grade school children. The problem was with the problems.

The Water Boy Cometh

In giving the Teapublican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, Senator Marco Rubio gave new meaning to the word “disastrous”. Aside from his deerintheheadlights demeanor, his urgent need to guzzle water during his own presentation was the stuff of vaudeville slapstick.

Now, on an even more serious mission, Marco Rubio, who has aspirations to be the G.O.Tea Party sacrificial lamb in the 2016 presidential election, is coming to New York City to raise campaign funds. New York City, especially the financial and corporate community, has long been seen as a wishing well for political candidates from across the spectrum.

The problem with Marco Rubio coming to New York with hat in one hand and water bottle in the other, is that he is one of the United States senators who voted against aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy – victims who live in New Jersey, Connecticut and———-New York.

Aside from being callous Marco Rubio is also a hypocrite as his home state of Florida has received billions upon billions of dollars of relief aid for recovery from the hurricanes that ravage his home state every few years.

When he comes to New York rattling his tin cup Marco Rubio may find that the New York State of Mind does not include hypocritical phonies like himself.

What a Mensch?

If you are a resident of New York City you probably have heard of Assemblyman Dov Hikind. He represents a largely Orthodox Jewish district and his famous for his vigorous and unceasing defense of the Jewish community against any word or deed that carries even a whiff of a hint of anti-Semitism. While some critics have labeled Dov Hikind as being hypersensitive, he certainly deserves respect for standing up for his constituents.

It is, therefore, more than shocking, that Assemblyman Hikind posed in blackface and an Afro wig as part of a Purim celebration. One has to guess that no one told Mr. Hikind that Al Jolson was the white person to get away with wearing blackface and that black Americans and most people of goodwill would be offended, to say the least.

To make matters worse, when called out for his outrageous racist conduct, Dov Hikind gave a cheesy “celebrity apology” (“….if I offended anyone dressing up as an NBA player by wearing an Afro wig and blackface I apologize”). And, if that wasn’t enough, he said he didn’t see what the fuss was all about.

As they say in Yiddish, what a mensch!

School Daze

Also in New York City, a grade school teacher decided to give her fourth and fifth grade students math word problems that connected to social studies topics that were being studied. So far so good.

However, in what can only described as an awesome display of insensitivity, the teacher chose to use American slavery as the social studies topic for the math problems. As a result there were questions like “2000 black slaves were on a slave ship, half of them died on the voyage to America. How many black slaves were alive at the end of the trip?”

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to realize that if the subjects of these wacky math problems were concentration camp victims, genocide victims in Armenia or Rwanda or the victims at Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the math problems would be deemed inappropriate.

To the school’s credit, the principal of the school disciplined the teacher. However, many of the parents were quoted as defending the teacher and her word problems. Perhaps predictions of a post-racial America are a wee bit premature.

Have a great weekend!


One thought on “Weekend Edition – March 1, 2013

  1. M'Rabet Ahmed says:

    It is abhorrent, revolting, when a Jew misrepresents (to put it mildly) any other culture or people, he gets away with it, but the minute you say or do something that someone, somewhere deems ‘anti Semitic’, then hell breaks loose on the author, via the media and all other legal means… . New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind is another good illustrative exemple of what I’m talking about. Him doing an Al Jolson imitation, in this time and age is totally unacceptable. But he can fear nothing, he won’t be bothered. This brings to my mind the case of a great French comedian by the name of Dieudonné who,
    a couple of years ago, in one of his acts, depicted an orthodox Jew, with long tangled beard, locks, long coat et all… . Well, the doors of HELL were opened on him, as his comedy was deemed anti-Semitic. Since then, he’s been banned from theaters, is entangled in legal procedures/litigations, to no end…
    Before that, he had depicted a Mollah and everybody was cheering and clapping… . Quel monde juste !…

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