A Late Twentieth-Century Pogrom, Made in the USA: What We Talk About When We Talk About the Crown Heights Riot
On the evening of August 19, 1991, the Lubavitcher Rebbe departed Crown Heights on his weekly visit to the graves of his wife and his father-in-law, the Frierdiker (Previous) Rebbe, in the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens. The Rebbe’s motorcade included, at this point in his life, three cars: an unmarked NYPD escort, the car carrying the Rebbe, and a third at the rear.[i] The NYPD escort had long been a source of local contention. The leaders of the black communities of Crown Heights saw it as a prominent manifestation of the police favoritism awarded to the Lubavitchers, along with the closure of some Crown Heights streets on Shabbat, but the Lubavitch community maintained that the Rebbe needed special protection as an international figure who received more than a few death threats during his tenure.[ii] On this particular August night, the third car was driven by a Yosef Lifish, and two Lubavitch male passengers sat in the back.
On the return trip into Crown Heights, the motorcade encountered trouble. After trailing behind the other two cars, Lifish rushed through a yellow light to keep up his position. His vehicle collided with another while crossing the intersection at the corner of President St. and Utica Ave., swerved over the curb at the far end of the intersection, and ran over two children playing on the sidewalk: Gavin and Angela Cato, two seven year-old cousins from a black Guyanese family. A crowd quickly formed to come to the children’s aid; Lifish and his passengers jumped out of the car to help as well and one dialed 911 on a mobile phone, but they were attacked by angry witnesses. Two police officers and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene at 8:22 PM, and they arrived after the Hatzolah ambulance, whose operators heard about the incident on their police radio. [iii]
What followed at the accident scene were perhaps the most crucial moments of the riot of August 1991, the ones in which police faced the challenges of assisting injured children, protecting targeted men from an angry crowd, and preventing the outbreak of more widespread violence all at once. One policewoman quickly made a move, prudent in the immediate term and tragic at every moment thereafter, ushering the three Jewish men away from the crowd and into the Hatzolah ambulance, in order to remove them from the angry mob as quickly as possible. This decision roiled the bystanders – many of whom were already shouting “Kill the Jew!” and hurling bottles at Lifish – by confirming the popular belief that Hatzolah attended only to Jews and ignored Gentiles.[iv]
Gavin Cato died of his injuries, and three days of shocking violence engulfed Crown Heights. The Rev. Al Sharpton would refer back to this Hatzolah resentment in his eulogy at Gavin Cato’s funeral, decrying “apartheid ambulance service.” Shortly afterwards, in a rabid display of the hateful vitriol characteristic of the episode, Sharpton proceeded curiously and dangerously to link the Crown Heights Lubavitch community with “diamond merchants” who trade with apartheid South Africa for profits in Tel Aviv and Brooklyn.[v]
For more than three days, Crown Heights became a lawless warzone. Local black residents rioted against their Jewish neighbors, smashing windows, looting stores, throwing bottles and stones, and physically beating victims on the street. Israeli flags were burned and chants of “Heil Hitler!” and “Get the Jews!” were heard in the Jewish neighborhood. In some cases, blacks and Jews clashed mutually. Police officers were targeted as well, attacked in many cases by blacks who perceived them to favor the Jewish combatants exclusively.[vi] The injury reports include claims from 152 police officers and 38 civilians, 27 police cars were damaged or destroyed, and 129 arrests were made. NYPD records list 21 acts of antisemitic bias, 3 of anti-black bias, and 3 of anti-white bias.[vii] A conspicuously late NYPD surge sent in 1,800 officers on August 22, finally ending the violence. [viii]
Many Jews did not hesitate to refer to the events as a pogrom, and a full page advertisement in The New York Times one month after the violence, paid for by “the Crown Heights Emergency Fund,” even invoked Kristallnacht.[ix] A Holocaust survivor named Bracha Estrin committed suicide when the violence began.[x]
The greatest tragedy occurred just three hours after the initial car accident and the subsequent outbreak of violence. At 11:30 PM, a group of 10 to 15 young black males chased down a Hasidic man from Australia named Yankel Rosenbaum and overtook him at the corner of President St. and Brooklyn Ave., screaming “Kill the Jew!” One of them, a sixteen year-old named Lemrick Nelson, Jr., stabbed Rosenbaum four times.[xi] Nelson was found at the scene holding a bloody knife on which the word “Killer” was engraved, and Rosenbaum identified Nelson to police before even being taken by an ambulance, reportedly saying, “Why did you do this to me? … I never did anything to you.”[xii] Rosenbaum died in the middle of the night at Kings County Hospital, after emergency room doctors failed to recognize his fourth bleeding wound, on his back, for over an hour.[xiii]
A State court jury – whose racial composition was leaked by unreliable sources to be six black people, four Hispanic people, and two white people – acquitted Nelson on October 29, 1992 after finding inconsistencies in the police testimonies. Some members of the jury reportedly attended a banquet in Nelson’s honor that night, along with Arthur Lewis, Jr., the victorious criminal defense attorney.[xiv] In 1994, the federal government charged Nelson with violation of Rosenbaum’s civil rights, and the former was convicted to nineteen and a half years in prison in 1997. The ruling was then overturned by a federal appeals court in 2002, which found that the jury selection process had unfairly discriminated to ensure a balanced proportion of races. Finally, a third trial in 2003 found Nelson guilty again, and he admitted for the first time to killing Rosenbaum, though he blamed his act on drinking and not hatred. The sentence was commuted as a result of the already protracted judicial process and Nelson went free within a year.[xv]
Meanwhile, a Brooklyn grand jury cleared Yosef Lifish of all charges for Gavin Cato’s death on September 5, 1991.[xvi] The Cato family subsequently filed a wrongful-death lawsuit for $100 million, but Lifish fled the United States for fear of angry reprisals and took up residence in Kefar Habad, a Lubavitch village in Israel. Just before Yom Kippur, on September 17, 1991, Sharpton traveled to Israel with fellow activist Alton Maddox, and the two tried unsuccessfully to reach Kefar Habad and serve the civil summons in person, instead delivering it to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. In a confrontation that further stoked Jewish-black tensions, a woman recognized Sharpton immediately upon his arrival to Ben Gurion Airport and shouted at him, “Go to hell!” Sharpton replied, in front of reporters, “I am in hell already. I am in Israel.”[xvii]
New York City was soon implicated in the blame as well. A formal New York State report on the riot, written and compiled by Director of Criminal Justice Richard H. Girgenti, found Mayor David N. Dinkins and NYPD Chief Lee P. Brown unambiguously at fault for mismanagement, charging that they mobilized police forces slowly and failed to protect the residents of Crown Heights.[xviii] Unfortunately for the already-charged race politics of the City, both of these men are black, and Dinkins had won his 1989 election largely on his pledge to ease racial tensions.[xix] Republican mayoral candidate Rudolph Giuliani used the reports’ findings to his benefit in his 1993 victory, calling the riot a “pogrom,” a term which not-so-subtly implies government complicity.[xx] [xxi] In a separate civil lawsuit, the City settled with the Rosenbaum family in 2005, agreeing to pay $1.25 million in damages for the emergency-room negligence (in a City-run hospital) that led to Rosenbaum’s death.[xxii]
Broadly considered, the events of August 1991 certainly deserve a place in the American Jewish historical canon of catastrophe. Assigning such a place, however, demands that the events be interpreted and that their moral meaning and their significance to our collective memory be made clear. Unfortunately, these conclusions remain elusive.
Historical Stakes and Dangerous Misconceptions
Comprehensive review of the facts surrounding the Crown Heights Riot is essential to any productive analysis of the riot’s cultural and societal significance. Many elements of the story were shrouded in mystery even a decade later. Fluency in the details of this historical chapter – from the fateful week in August 1991 through political shockwaves and court rulings years later – provides the only defense against residual enmity. And from the vantage point of Yeshiva University in 2013, these same details continue to confound all the traditional perspectives from which the riot is interpreted.
Damaging misconceptions and blatant falsehoods plagued the press, as well as both black and Jewish communities, during and after the riots, and some persist until today. First, contrary to popular newspaper presentations, the violence implicated not just two ethnic/religious groups but three: African-American blacks; a much larger group of Caribbean-American blacks (including the Cato family) who, though also of African origin, comprised a distinct, lower-class immigrant community whose Crown Heights population had skyrocketed under less restrictive immigration standards since 1950; and Lubavitcher Hasidim who remained in Crown Heights under the Rebbe’s strict instructions in April 1969, even as nearly all the other local whites fled to the suburbs in the decades immediately after World War II. [xxiii]
Second, Yankel Rosenbaum was not, as representatives of the Lubavitch community and many voices in the national press originally contended, a rabbinic student. He was not a yeshiva student of any sort, nor was he even a Lubavitcher hasid. Rosenbaum was actually a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne in Australia, temporarily staying in New York to research 1930s Eastern European History at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, then located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In the view of Edward S. Shapiro, professor of Psychology at Lehigh University and a prominent riot researcher, Rosenbaum’s posthumous redefinition had a definitive, if perhaps unconscious, purpose: The mischaracterization effectively “heightened his Jewishness and linked his death with the long and painful history of antisemitism … for those unfamiliar with Jewish history, it was natural to equate being Jewish with being religious, being religious with being an Orthodox Jew, and being an Orthodox Jew with being a student of Judaism’s holy texts.”[xxiv] Rosenbaum’s role, then, was not to die as himself but to die as a symbol of the Jewish life and culture threatened by violence and hatred in Crown Heights.
Third, the Crown Heights Hatzolah never had a policy not to treat Gentiles. One member of the Hatzolah team who arrived at the corner of President St. and Utica Ave. on August 19 actually assisted City paramedics in treating Angela Cato, Gavin’s cousin who survived the accident, just as the mob nearby spread the rumor that Hatzolah came only for Lifish and ignored the black children.[xxv]
Fourth, the Rev. Al Sharpton did not play any role in instigating the riot, as many of his detractors later claimed (though his statements and marches did explicitly encourage the rioters and defend their actions after the fact, and he has never quite apologized).[xxvi] Sharpton only arrived in Crown Heights on the morning after the violence broke out, when Gavin Cato’s father Carmel called him for assistance.[xxvii]
Jewish-Black Relations in America
On the evening of September 20, 1989, New York State Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farell, Jr. visited Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus to address a group of students in the Rubin Shul. Farell, then and now the State representative for a large segment of the Washington Heights neighborhood, spoke to YU students on behalf of the local black communities and the now-defunct Manhattan Black and Puerto Rican Caucus which he then led. He assessed the New York City black-Jewish relationship positively, characterizing it as “better than [the relationship] between blacks and Italians.”[xxviii] Farell also blamed Governor Mario Cuomo for lending credence to inflammatory black figures like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and proceeded to campaign before the Yeshiva students for Mayor Dinkins, citing the incumbent’s commitment to fighting antisemitism, supporting Israel, and improving New York race relations in general. After the talk, YCSC President Barry Kaye rose to ask Farell about the lack of visible black support for the popular student movement to liberate Soviet Jewry, suggesting that American blacks were failing to repay their debt to the American Jewish community which had stood side-by-side with them during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.[xxix]
Kaye’s point was probably not lost on anyone in the room; an impressive history of participation in the Civil Rights Movement has always been a source of great pride to American Jews. Among the images ingrained in the American Jewish conscience were the faces of Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner, Jewish activists lynched in Mississippi in 1964 by the Ku Klux Klan,[xxx] as well as the famous photographs of Abraham Joshua Heschel marching on Selma, Alabama arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965.[xxxi] Farell chose to downplay this history in his reply, educating his YU audience instead about a popular black perception of Jewish abandonment in the more radical stage of the Civil Rights struggle, after 1965.[xxxii]
This narrative, positively spinning the black-Jewish relationship as damaged but reemerging, clashed definitively with another popular version, one that posited the opposite. According to this alternative, the black-Jewish liberal alliance had resiliently survived the challenges of radicalization in the 1960s, including the painful effects of the 1967 Newark riot on the local Jewish community and a slew of isolated antisemitic incidents in Crown Heights in the 1970s and 1980s,[xxxiii] only to suddenly collapse in the final decade of the twentieth century.
To explain this version of history, some researchers cite two harbingers of doom from the months immediately preceding the Crown Heights Riot. First, early in 1991, the Nation of Islam published the first volume of a new treatise called Secret Relationships Between Blacks and Jews, arguing that Jews played a dominant role in the transatlantic slave trade. Second, this slavery claim was repeated and championed by Leonard Jeffries, a professor of Black Studies at the City College of New York in an infamous, controversial speech in Albany on July 20, 1991. Jeffries also argued that Jewish control of American media and the film industry deliberately spreads negative black stereotypes. Both incidents were roundly condemned and Jeffries was dismissed from his post as department head, but the black-Jewish dynamic in America was shaken terribly.[xxxiv]
In contrast with Farell’s comments at YU, this alternative narrative took the onus for the violent collapse of Crown Heights away from mainstream trends and placed blame squarely on sudden instigation by individual radicals. Either way, the whole of 1991 demonstrated all too vividly that Jews and blacks had come a long way since Selma. As noted above, the conduct of black public figures during and after the riot did little to nothing to repair what had unraveled. Mayor Dinkins and NYPD Commissioner Brown failed to protect the Lubavitch community of Crown Heights and engendered unfortunate and widespread suspicions of their own biases and/or ambivalence. Al Sharpton, meanwhile, simultaneously positioned himself as a latter-day civil rights leader and supporter of the violent rioting.[xxxv] Michael Meyers and Hazel Dukes of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued statements condemning the violence against Jews, but the political culture favored the radicals and gave them more press coverage.[xxxvi]
Some researchers have made a plausible case to dissociate the Crown Heights Riot from any larger questions of black-Jewish relations in America. Edward S. Shapiro and Carol B. Conaway address the claim that the Lubavitch and Caribbean-American communities of New York are both so insular and so separated from the larger spheres of Jewish and black society, respectively, as to resist placement in this traditional racial structure.[xxxvii] Lubavitchers interacted more with Caribbean-Americans than with other black communities, and the Caribbean-Americans interacted more with Lubavitchers than with any other Jews. The two groups had developed their own arguments and tensions through decades of sharing physical space, clashing on issues such as police accommodation, civilian street patrols, ambulance services, and City funding.[xxxviii] But prominent members of the Lubavitch community resisted this interpretation, expressing that since “anti-Lubavitch” is a less common and recognizable distinction than “antisemitic,” it implied their own fault in bringing black violence upon themselves.[xxxix] And considering the gruesome and absolutely unjustifiable extent of the violence they suffered, this objection is not unreasonable.
Ultimately, perhaps the clearest consequence wrought by the Crown Heights Riot upon the state of black-Jewish affairs has been the disappearance of the historic relationship – and the periodic tension – between the two communities as an identifiable feature of American society. A 2011 article in The Jewish Daily Forward put it quite well:
The fact that the relationship is not a matter of concern today for blacks or Jews could be read as a sign that efforts of reconciliation after the riots were successful, or that the bond between the two groups is so insignificant that it has lost any relevance. Tellingly, when candidate Barack Obama spoke about the black-Jewish alliance on the campaign trail in 2008, he talked about needing to ‘rebuild’ it.[xl]
In its final issue before the 1992 summer break, The Commentator published a special first-anniversary reflective section on the Crown Heights Riot of the previous summer, titled, “Black-Jewish Relations: The Lessons of Crown Heights.”[xli] Revealingly, though, the editors chose to display in the center, and in a font size twice as large as all the other items printed on the page, a report identifying the riot not as an explosion of black-Jewish relations, but as evidence of an increase in American antisemitism. The report, an excerpt from the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) 1991 annual “Audit of Anti-Semitic Events,” read as follows:
In 1991, for the first time in recent memory, a mob’s cries of “Kill the Jew” echoed on an American street… The Crown Heights outburst, with its dozens of assaults and acts of vandalism, was the most dramatic and disturbing eruption of anti-Semitic violence in America in many years. These attacks were among the most noteworthy of the anti-Semitic incidents reported to the ADL during 1991 – the fifth straight year of increased anti-Jewish acts nationwide.[xlii]
For the ADL, the history of anti-Jewish hate crimes in the United States was a more appropriate frame for the riot than the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
Initially, though, many American Jewish organizations cautiously avoided referring to the Crown Heights Riot as an act of antisemitism. Conaway’s research demonstrates that The New York Times coverage largely followed their lead, only raising the issue of antisemitism after Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, brought it up. Instead, the Times applied the frame of racial conflict, simplified to black vs. white, and persisted with this interpretation for two years, until the release of the State report in 1993.[xliii] Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress (AJC) also applied this frame, labeling the riot as “essentially a black-white problem.” Marc D. Stern, another AJC official, added that Crown Heights was “in large part an anti-white riot, directed at the nearest available white community” and expressing “the frustration of an inner-city black population.”[xliv]
Members of the Lubavitch community voiced disappointment and mistrust in fellow American Jews, and the liberal Jewish organizations in particular, for their failure to act passionately on Crown Heights’ behalf.[xlv] The conflict over terminology also extended far beyond the boundaries of internal Jewish dialogue. Many public figures adopted the term “pogrom” to characterize the Crown Heights Riot, including New York Post editorial page editor Eric Breindel and columnist Pete Hamill, New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal, former New York City mayor Ed Koch (Dinkins’ predecessor who lost the 1988 election), and mayoral hopeful Rudy Giuliani (Dinkins’ successor and victorious opponent in 1993).[xlvi]
Others rejected this term as inaccurate and politically charged, including Columbia University historian Michael Stanislawski and Times columnist Joyce Purnick.[xlvii] Mayor Dinkins vehemently objected to the use of “pogrom” and its implications of his culpability, continually professing his commitment to ease racial tension and his friendship with Jews and Jewish causes. Several weeks after the riot, Dinkins deliberately chose to reframe to the riot as a “bias crime” and the Rosenbaum murder as a “lynching,” seeking the American historical terminology that would symbolically bring blacks and Jews closer together rather than divide them.[xlviii]
It should not be overlooked that actual traces of traditional European antisemitism turned up in black New York in the last decade of the twentieth century. New Yorker writer David Remnick described finding The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s International Jew alongside works of Malcolm X at sidewalk bookstands in Manhattan soon after the riot. The Afrocentric WLIB radio station featured frequent rants on Jewish control of money, the press, and the government. Perhaps most chilling of all, though, were the references to Hitler in Crown Heights mob cries during the violence of August 1991.[xlix] Franklin Snitow, an attorney who represented the Crown Heights Lubavitch community in its legal action against the City, argued that extensive evidence pointed to understanding the riot as an organized assault of anti-Jewish hatred rather than a spontaneous outburst of anger. In a 1992 interview with The Commentator (part of the same first anniversary section), Snitow related, “[w]e have information that there were chain telephone calls made throughout the Brooklyn community saying ‘Tonight take the streets – get the Jews.’”[l]
Still, some researchers have raised the consideration that Crown Heights rioters were likely not well-versed in propaganda that could be convincingly described as antisemitism. Jonathan Rieder, professor of Sociology at Barnard College, characterized the Crown Heights Riot as an outgrowth of gang culture and ghetto violence, expressed through the popular medium of “violent reprisals, collective allocation of blame, and communal vengeance.” The anti-Jewish element, by contrast, seemed shallow and coincidental: “there was little evidence of coherent, formal antisemitic belief systems at work in Crown Heights.”[li]
Lubavitch Riot-Based Messianism
The messianic movement surrounding the Lubavitcher Rebbe, R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was understandably jolted by the incidents of the 1991 riot. Few Lubavitchers forgot that the trigger of all the violence came from the Rebbe’s own entourage, and it was difficult for anyone to understand that as coincidental. An Australian funder of Lubavitch named Joseph Gutnick purchased a full-page advertisement in The Jewish Week just one week after the riots, referring to the Crown Heights Riot in light of other tumultuous events around the world, including Hurricane Bob and the downfall of the Soviet Union. Gutnick concluded:
Any one of these phenomena by itself is enough to boggle the mind. Connect them all together, and a pattern emerges that cannot be ignored. The Era of Moshiach is upon us. Learn about it. Be a part of it. All you have to do is open your eyes. Inevitably, you’ll draw your own conclusion.[lii]
Undoubtedly, many Lubavitchers started to think of the riot as a tremor of the apocalypse, but just how widespread this was remains unclear. Researchers and journalists have referred vaguely to this phenomenon without providing concrete information.[liii] The Rebbe himself never managed to articulate to his followers an official response to, or stance on, the riot. On March 2, 1992, just over six months after the violence, the Rebbe suffered the stroke that rendered him unable to communicate and began his final deterioration.[liv]
The Rebbe did, however, leave one very valuable artifact from the period of the riot, and it is available on YouTube. On August 25, 1991, just three days after tentative peace had been restored to Crown Heights, Mayor Dinkins visited the Rebbe at the World Lubavitch Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway. During their brief conversation, the Rebbe blessed the mayor in front of throngs of onlookers and television cameras:
God Almighty should bless you to have good news and to use all your influence in the quiet atmosphere and to not suffer [unintelligible]… [We are] one side, one people, united by the management of New York City.[lv]
The modern tragedy of the Crown Heights Riot surpasses even the most dismal apprehensions of American Jewish history. The fears reawakened by those three days of violence were perhaps more severe than any other in our community’s history. But a project like this article is made most difficult by the absolute lack of clarity and well-defined meaning surrounding Crown Heights Riot commemoration. Many perspectives present themselves in a cursory review of journalistic and academic literature on Crown Heights, but every single one of them leaves more questions than answers.
I undertook the project of writing this article only when interactions with fellow students and members of the YU community revealed (unscientifically) that the Crown Heights Riot is not a ubiquitous feature of American Jewish historical consciousness. Confronting “Holocaust and Catastrophe” should mean engagement with this terrifying period on the part of historically conscious Jews removed from it by just twenty-two years and fifteen miles. And the definitive interpretation of the riot and its consequences, if one is ever to be found, may be up to our generation as well.
Chesky Kopel is a senior at YC majoring in History, and is an editor-in-chief for Kol Hamevaser.
[i] Carol B. Conaway, “Crown Heights: Politics and Press Coverage of the Race War That Wasn’t,” Polity 32,1 (1999): 93-118, 95.
[ii] Conaway, 102.
[iii] Conaway, 95-6.
[iv] David Remnick, “Waiting for the Apocalypse in Crown Heights,” The New Yorker, 21 December, 1992, 54.
[v] William Saletan and Avi Zenilman, “The Gaffes of Al Sharpton,” Slate, 7 October, 2003, available at: www.slate.com.
[vi] Remnick, 56.
[vii] Conaway, 108.
[viii] Edward S. Shapiro, “Interpretations of the Crown Heights Riot,” American Jewish History 90,2 (2002): 97- 122, 97. Many of the figures derived from the official New York State report on the riot: Richard H. Girgenti, A Report to the Governor on the Disturbances in Crown Heights, vol. 1, An Assessment of the City’s Preparedness and Response to Civil Disorder (Albany, 1993).
[ix] Shapiro, 104.
[x] Shapiro, 97.
[xi] David Stout, “The Case That Rocked Crown Heights,” The New York Times, 15 August, 1996, p. B6.
[xii] Remnick, 54.
[xiii] Stout, ibid.
[xiv] Remnick, 56.
[xv] Andy Newman, “Penalty in Crown Hts. Case Means a Little More Jail Time,” The New York Times, 21 August, 2003, p. B2.
[xvi] Stout, ibid.
[xvii] Susan Sachs, “Sharpton’s Short Stay: Spends 4 hours in Israel without finding Hasid driver,” Newsday, 18 September, 1991, 5.
[xviii] “Excerpts from the State Report: On the Role of Mayor Dinkins,” The New York Times, 21 July 1993, p. B6.
[xix] See Steven Feisenthal, “Mayoral Preview,” The (YU) Commentator LIV, 2, 5 October, 1989, 6-7.
[xx] Todd S. Purdum, “Competence Is Campaign Focus After the Crown Heights Report: As Giuliani Seizes Issue, Dinkins Allies Are Wary,” The New York Times, 22 July, 1993, p. A1.
[xxi] “Pogrom,” Merriam-Webster, available at: www.merriam-webster.com.
[xxii] Jennifer S. Lee, “City Settles With Family of ’91 Victim,” The New York Times, 18 June, 2005, p. B2.
[xxiii] Conaway, 97-100.
[xxiv] Shapiro, 101.
[xxv] Conaway, 96.
[xxvi] See John Kifner, “Tension in Brooklyn: Blacks March by Hasidim Through a Corridor of Blue,” The New York Times, 25 August, 1991, available at: www.nytimes.com. See also Al Sharpton, “What Crown Heights taught me: Al Sharpton reflects on race, rhetoric and rage that split the city,” New York Daily News, 21 August, 2011, available at: www.nydailynews.com.
[xxvii] See Sharpton, ibid. This account had already been corroborated by the Girgenti Report of 1993.
[xxviii] Gad Dilshi, “Black Assemblyman Speaks at YU,” The Commentator LIV, 2, 5 October, 1989, 1.
[xxx] See William Bradford Huie, Three Lives for Mississippi (New York: WWC Books, 1965). See images on front cover.
[xxxi] Image available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SelmaHeschelMarch.jpg.
[xxxii] Dilshi, ibid.
[xxxiii] For more on the Newark incident, see Anthony Weiss, “For One Day, Newark’s Jews Return to Mourn,” The Jewish Daily Forward, 17 October, 2008, available at: www.forward.com. For more on the Crown Heights incidents of the 1970s and 1980s, see Kenneth S. Stern, “Crown Heights: A Case Study in Anti-Semitism and Community Relations,” Issues in National Affairs 1,3, The American Jewish Committee Institute of Human Relations, 12-14; and Remnick, 54.
[xxxiv] See Shapiro, 97-98; Conaway, 106.
[xxxv] See note xxvi above.
[xxxvi] Stern, 7.
[xxxvii] Conaway, 106-107; Shapiro, 109-111.
[xxxviii] Conaway, 100-102.
[xxxix] Shapiro, 111.
[xl] Josh Nathan-Kazis, “Why No One Talks About Black-Jewish Relations: Historic Link Strong, But Both Groups Have Shifted Focus,” The Jewish Daily Forward, 18 August, 2011, available at: www.forward.com.
[xli] The Commentator LVII,1, 18 May, 1992, 10-11, 15.
[xliii] Conaway, 111. See ibid, 104-115 for Conaway’s entire thesis concerning Crown Heights Riot coverage in The New York Times.
[xliv] Shapiro, 107.
[xlv] Ibid. 110.
[xlvi] Ibid, 102-106.
[xlviii] Ibid, 108.
[xlix] Remnick, 56.
[l] Robert B. Fagin and Franklin Snitow, Esq., “Who Was To Blame?,” The Commentator, ibid, 10-11, 15.
[li] Shapiro, 111-112. See ibid for the Lubavitch response to Rieder’s “revisionism,” which contended that it “defied common sense.”
[lii] Shapiro, 100.
[liii] See Shapiro, ibid; Remnick, 53; Allan Nadler, “Last Exit to Brooklyn: The Lubavitchers’ powerful and preposterous messianism,” The New Republic 206, 4 May, 1992, 27-35.
[liv] Remnick, 52.
[lv] “The Rebbe and David Dinkins – Jews and African Americans as ‘One People,’” video available on Jewish Educational Media’s (JEM) YouTube channel, at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdO5OtTbK_4.