The alleged vandal of a Brooklyn synagogue is a Trump-loving, anti-Semitic white supremacist, right?
Well, not exactly.
James Polite, a 26-year-old black Democratic activist and a former city hall intern who worked on hate crime issues, was arrested yesterday and will probably be charged with a hate crime.
Literally everyone rushed to frame the vandalism as another example of anti-Semitic hate being enabled by the president and Republicans.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate, releasing the following statement:
“I am disgusted by the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti at a house of worship in Brooklyn. At a time when the nation is still reeling from the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, New Yorkers stand united with the Jewish community and against hate in all its forms. In New York, we have zero tolerance for discrimination in our laws or in our spirit. I have directed the State’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate this hideous act and hold those responsible accountable to the full extent of the law. As governor, I am also doing everything in my power to ensure our religious institutions are free from violence and intolerance. This week, we announced the launch of an additional $10 million grant program to help protect New York’s non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious-based institutions. The disgusting rhetoric and heinous violence in this nation has reached a fever pitch and is ripping at the fabric of America, and it must stop. In New York, we have forged community through chords of commonality and we will always stand together against hate and discrimination.”
Note: That ABC story never bothers to mention the race of the perpetrator.
The Daily Caller points out that Polite was a known quantity in New York City:
A year ago, The New York Times profiled Polite, noting that he was an LGBT foster youth who “could defy the statistics” after becoming the “adopted child of the Quinn administration,” as Christine Quinn, then the speaker of the New York city council, put it. “And it wasn’t just me. It was the entire City Council staff.”
In the 2017 profile, The New York Times said Polite, who requested to join the foster care system after his mother provided “unsanitary” conditions for him, “interned with Ms. Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat, for several years, working on initiatives to combat hate crime, sexual assault and domestic violence. He also took part in her re-election campaign in 2009 and returned to help with her unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2013.”
Looks like Mr. Polite wasn’t quite able to “defy the statistics.”
Before it had been known that the suspect was a Democratic activist being paid by taxpayers to work on hate crime issues, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was asking the state’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the incident, and pointed to “an additional $10 million grant program to help protect New York’s non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious-based institutions. The disgusting rhetoric and heinous violence in this nation has reached a fever pitch and is ripping at the fabric of America.”
And one of two Democratic New York candidates speaking at the event, Jim Gaughran, said:
What this incident highlighted is the need for a change in our current political climate. Hate, bigotry, and fear-mongering have become all too common in today’s society and that needs to change. This change won’t happen on its own, however. It is up to us! That’s why it is so important that every single person gets out and votes in Tuesday’s election so we can stop the spread of hate.
The clear message is, “vote Democratic because we’re not haters!” Not much, anyway.
The moral to this story is that rushing to judgment can sometimes make you look like an idiot. An anti-Trump black Democratic activist is charged with writing hateful things on a synagogue wall and setting fires at Jewish locations and suddenly, New York Democratic politicians don’t seem quite as eager to blame Trump for the hate.