I’m not much of a monorail supporter, but I had been impressed with the reasonable and forthright statements of Monorail Board member Cindi Laws during the project’s dramatic collapse. Um… until now: “Candidate accused of anti-Jewish talk.”
I’ll leave it to the fervently anti-Monorail folk to rake Cindi over the coals, but I was particularly amused (saddened?) by how she managed to spin her “apology” about as well as a flat-bottomed dreidel.
Interviewers said Laws apologized and, in trying to explain her remarks, said, “It probably is a poor reference,” but that Joel Horn, former executive director of the Seattle Monorail Project, used to joke that he and another staffer were the only Jews who supported the project.
They said she went on to say that Horn would refer to the opposition as “Jews Against the Monorail,” but that she was not anti-Semitic and that she once was engaged to a Jew.
Oy. A “poor reference”…? Ya think?
Cindi… a couple tips. First, I suspect your broken engagement might be perceived as more enlightening than you intended. Second, if you ever come across a group of African Americans boisterously expressing their camaraderie by calling each other “nigger”… don’t feel free to join in.
Does Cindi hate Jews? Probably not. But such clumsy, thoughtless and earnest repetition of ethnic stereotypes fuels the paranoia of people who do. Us Jews do not own all the downtown real estate… we do not own all the banks… we do not control the media… and we do not vote as a block. And we most certainly do not make political contributions based solely on whether there is a “berg” or a “stein” at the end of the candidate’s name.
(Though come to think of it… we do control the region’s most influential political blogs. Hmmm.)