City of Newburgh mayor: 'We will not stand for racism or antisemitic rhetoric'

Mayor Torrance Harvey addressed instances of hate speech, including flyers directed at local landlords who are Hasidic.

News 12 Staff

Aug 31, 2023, 10:13 PM

Updated 323 days ago

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City of Newburgh and state officials held a news brief Thursday to condemn recent hate speech directed at local landlords who are Hasidic.
Mayor Torrance Harvey addressed a few instances of hate speech, including flyers that featured Hasidic Jewish landlords and the mayor.
"We are here because of the hate rhetoric," Harvey said at City Hall.
Someone copied a photo Harvey posted online of him meeting with local landlords about code violations and captioned it with attacks on the mayor.
There have also recently been instances of antisemitic graffiti in the city and hate speech on social media.
"We will not stand for hate. We will not stand for racism or antisemitic rhetoric of any type or discourse of any type, and we stand to be unified," Harvey said.
Some residents have complained online and at City Council meetings that Hasidic landlords are not properly maintaining the homes they rent out.
City officials said they deal with bad landlords and that to pin the overall problem on Hasidic Jews is way out of line.
"The only real answer is an uptick in love," said Rabbi Shmuel Serebryanski.
Several faith leaders, including Serebryanski, are calling on the community to respond to these recent antisemitic incidents with love, not anger.
Harvey said Newburgh police are investigating the posting of the flyers as a hate crime. He also added that police have video evidence but could not say much more as it is an ongoing investigation.


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