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U.S. Senator Cory Booker says he’s bothered by recent epidemic of anti-Semitic comments by public officials in his home state, weighing in for the first time on hate speech that has ignited controversies in three New Jersey cities.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism in New Jersey or anywhere in America, but especially not in our public institutions. We must call out offensive rhetoric like this that divides our communities,” Booker told the New Jersey Globe.
The Murphy administration fired Jeffrey Dye from his state Labor Department post last month after a long history of anti-Semitic and anti-Latino Facebook posts. The national NAACP suspended Dye’s membership and ousted him as president of the Passaic branch.
Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson and Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride used variations of “Jew us down” during council meetings. Two other Trenton City Councilmembers defended McBride and diminished the offensiveness of her comments.
None of the officials involved have apologized for their statements.
Booker’s comments come one day after his rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden, delivered an emotional address commemorating the 56th anniversary of a Birmingham church bombing.
“Hate is on the rise again, and we’re at a defining moment again in America,” Biden said.