Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie has called on the Paterson City Council to censure Michael Jackson for saying that developers tried to “Jew us down” on the price of the Hinchcliffe Stadium development project.
“I am proud of New Jersey’s, and my home county of Passaic’s, record on inclusion and diversity. Divisive language like this pushes us back in time and tears back the progress we have made to build a state and nation that embraces the principles of equality and justice,” said Currie, who also serves as New Jersey Democratic State Chairman. “Councilman Jackson’s comments are inexcusable; members of Paterson’s City Council should stand together and censure him immediately.”
Three Democratic legislators also slammed Jackson, a two-term councilman, for his comments.
“Councilman Jackson’s remarks were unacceptable by any standard. I condemn his hate speech wholeheartedly, especially coming from an elected official representing one of the most diverse cities in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic). “We should all stand together as one community against targeted and hateful speech. Words have consequences, and those who hold elected office must be held to a higher standard.”
Schaer, who was among the victims of an anti-Semitic tirade launched by now-former Passaic NAACP Chairman Jeffrey Dye, praised Mayor Andrew Sayegh and other local officials who quickly denounced Jackson for his statement.
“Councilman Jackson’s comments send the wrong message to our entire community, especially our children and young adults,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson). “Any hate speech directed towards any segment of our community is an attack on us all.”
Assembly Majority Conference Leader Shavonda Sumter (D-Paterson) also praised local officials for standing up to Jackson at Tuesday’s council meeting.
“We need to show genuine respect for each other at all times and put hateful and divisive rhetoric to the side so that we can all work together,” Sumter said.
Jackson’s comments were first reported by TapIntoPaterson.