New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday night called for a Jersey City school board member to resign for the comments she posted on Facebook referring to Jews as “brutes” and questioning whether the perpetrators of the mass shootings at a Kosher market in the city, had a point to make in their attack.
Joan Terrell-Paige, who is African-American, made the comments as a response to an online story about Jersey City fighting hate after the mass shooting last week where two members of the city’s Jewish community, as well as a store employee and a Jersey City police detective were killed in what authorities suspect to be a hate crime.
You can read: Deadly shooting kills six people in Jersey City
On the post, she referred to the Jewish community in the Greenville neighborhood “brutes” that have “threatened, intimidated and harassed” black homeowners.
The unfortunate comments also accused members of the Hasidic community of waving “bags of money” in front of Ward F black homeowners to induce them to sell their properties. Then she added that refusals to sell “were met by threats of ‘we will bring drug dealers and prostitutes to live next door to you. You will sell to us then.’
And even though Terrel-Paige ended her comments by saying that she was speaking “as a private citizen, not as an elected member of the Board of Education,” this did not prevent the strong official reactions.
On Twitter, the Democratic Governor Murphy urged her to resign from her elected position. “We will not let anti-Semitism and hate go unchallenged in our communities. In light of Ms. Terrell-Paige’s comments, I urge her to immediately resign from the Jersey City Board of Education.”
Earlier, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who is Jewish, also asked Terrell-Paige to resign. “My opinion is she should resign. That type of language has no place in our schools and no place amongst elected officials,” he wrote on Twitter.
Explore their message?
Terrell-Paige also claimed black renters were evicted 30 days after buying their homes by members of the Hasidic community “so that more Jewish people could move in.” And she suggested Jersey City officials were turning a blind eye to black residents. Then, she noted that the two shooters in the shooting, both black “went directly to the kosher supermarket.”
”I believe they knew they would come out in body bags,” Terrell-Paige went on. “What is the message they were sending? Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message? Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the Black communities of America?”
No room for intolerant discourse
Jersey City Education Association President Ronnie Greco also agreed to her resignation and emphasized the non-acceptance of an intolerant discourse in the community.
“There is no place for that sort of hateful, divisive rhetoric in our schools or our Jersey City community. As we mourn the tragic events of one week ago, we should be calling for tolerance and an open dialogue and not casting aspersions, pitting one group against another group or attempting to justify the actions of cold-blooded murderers.
“While we respect the right for Ms. Terrell-Page to have her own opinion, we cannot accept her prejudiced and anti-Semitic sentiments expressed in her recent Facebook post.” Greco added.
The Facebook post has been deleted.