The Worst Explanation for the “Knockout Game” in the History of Ever

According to Laurie Cumbo, a New York City Council member from Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, the “knockout game” is occurring because

many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes. I relayed these sentiments at the forum not as an insult to the Jewish community, but rather to offer possible insight as to how young African American/Caribbean teens could conceivably commit a “hate crime” against a community that they know very little about.

As John Podhoretz writes, Cumbo’s “insight into why a thug would punch a 19 year-old Hasidic kid in the face in the middle of her district while his friends watched, in other words, boils down to Jewish money.” To be sure, Cumbo is quick to tell us “I respect and appreciate the Jewish community’s family values and unity that has led to strong political, economic and cultural gains,” but she also states that “[w]hile I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success.” How any of this blather is supposed to justify or explain anything is beyond the capacity of anyone to understand, but there you have it: People shouldn’t play the “knockout game,” but if people are playing it, it’s only because they are worried that they will be “pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes” and because “Jewish success” is not the success of those playing the “knockout game.” Were I in Cumbo’s place, I would have said something along the lines of “the ‘knockout game’ is being played because some people have no sense of morals, no sense of decency, and no appreciation for the basic, simple truth that all people deserve to walk the streets without fear that they are going to be assaulted.” But then, I guess I just don’t have what it takes to get elected to the New York City Council.

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