Al Sharpton’s cries for racial justice in the aftermath of the Treyvon Martin/ George Zimmerman case were distinctly missing in 1993 as he stirred up the Crown Heights riots that ended in the death of Yankel Rosenbaum.
The Crown Heights Riot was a three-day riot that occurred from August 19 to August 21, 1991 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. At the time of the riot, Crown Heights was and remains predominantly an African-American and Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. It is the home of the Lubavitch sect of Orthodox Jewish Hasidim. The riots began on August 19, 1991, after a child of Guyanese immigrants was accidentally struck and killed by an automobile in the motorcade of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the sect’s leader.
The riot unleashed simmering tensions of the Crown Heights’ black community against the Orthodox Jewish community. In its wake, several Jews were seriously injured; one Orthodox Jewish man, Yankel Rosenbaum, was killed; and a non-Jewish man, allegedly mistaken by rioters for a Jew, was killed by a group of African-American men. Lemrick Nelson was ultimately convicted in federal court for civil rights violations related to Rosenbaum’s death and sentenced to 19 years in prison. A second defendant, Charles Price, was also charged with conspiring to violate Rosenbaum’s civil rights and received 21 years in prison. Nelson and Price were the only two Crown Heights rioters tried for their actions.
About three hours after the riots began, early on the morning of August 20, a group of approximately 20 young black men surrounded 29-year-old Australian Jew, Yankel Rosenbaum, a University of Melbourne student in the United States conducting research for his doctorate. They stabbed him several times in the back and beat him severely, fracturing his skull. Before being taken to the hospital, Rosenbaum was able to identify 16-year-old Lemrick Nelson, Jr. as his assailant in a line-up shown to him by the police. Rosenbaum died later that night. Nelson was charged as an adult with murder and acquitted, but later convicted of violating Rosenbaum’s civil rights in federal court; Nelson eventually admitted that he had indeed stabbed Rosenbaum.
from the Daily News, Al Sharpton’s true role in Crown Heights: Yankel Rosenbaum’s brother speaks out:
And Sharpton claims his remarks at Gavin Cato’s funeral were misinterpreted. Here is what he said, according to a 1993 report in the Jewish Forward by legendary reporter Philip Gourevitch: “Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid. . . . All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no coffee klatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’.”
Based on everything we have seen and read, Sharpton never called upon the rioters to stop their anti-Semitism-inspired violence. He never called on the rioters to go home. To the contrary, he stirred them up. And three days of anti-Semitic violence became the Crown Heights riots.
Sharpton’s revisionism only serves to perpetuate the fallacy that the riots erupted organically from some underlying ongoing issues between the African-American and Jewish communities of Crown Heights. In other words, that profound tensions were boiling just beneath the surface and were suddenly unleashed by the tragic death of Gavin Cato.
That is simply untrue. The riots were the product of anti-Semites taking advantage of the tragic death of a child to justify inflicting their violence on innocent people – the Jewish community of Crown Heights – and murdering Yankel Rosenbaum, a Jew from Australia, amid the cries of “Kill the Jew!”
It was a mob of about 30 who attacked and murdered Yankel, of which 28 have never been brought to justice. For 20 years, these people have lived free, and continue to do so, among the African-American community.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/al-sharpton-true-role-crown-heights-yankel-rosenbaum-brother-speaks-article-1.945812#ixzz2ZgFRQsiQ
Like the false cry of rape creates suspicion on legitimate rape charges, so does the use of this Martin/ Zimmerman case as racially motivated create a suspicion on cases where there really is a racially motivated crime. The case is a tragedy. But it came to trial and the verdict should be respected, especially in light of the prosecution’s effort to politicize as it did. As tragic as this case was (I carefully use the word case, not crime) it is a poor example of a race problem. And having Al Sharpton arise as the leader of this case is enormously hypocritical and offensive. Remember Tawana Brawley?
I remain opposed to the filing of civil rights and civil charges against a defendant who is acquitted of the underlying criminal charges, even if it involves OJ Simpson and the murderer of Yankel Rosenbaum. It is double jeopardy and should be abolished.