NY Jawmaker says neighborhood is bad “Because African Americans live there”
Nassau County Democrats are calling for the resignation of legislator Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) after she was caught making racially inflammatory statements.
The New York lawmaker, when speaking about the neighborhood surrounding the Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel, allegedly said, “This is a bad neighborhood because African Americans live there. Very few people would want to go there.”
Birnbaum was also allegedly overheard saying “all [African-Americans] want to do is play basketball” and “who else from the rest of the town is going to go there.”
The Island Now reports that Robert Troiano, vice-chair of the Town of North Hempstead Democratic Committee, was among those at a rally on Monday chanting “Ellen Birnbaum must go.”
Also at the rally was Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, who said of Birnbaum’s remarks, “Words have meanings and they have con-sequences.”
Three legislative staff members reportedly heard Birnbaum making the racially in-sensitive remarks.
Since then, community members and legislators have been calling on Birnbaum to resign.
“The 12,000 African Americans who live in New Cassel no longer have the trust or confidence in you or any vote you render in this Legislature,” said one community member according to News 12.
Birnbaum says she was trying to discuss the predicament of the community and wasn’t being as careful as she should have been with her language.
“I would welcome the chance to rebuild and regain the trust I have lost in people,” Birnbaum told News 12.