The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fair Game?

You may have been unaware that a somewhat likely scenario is playing out in the current special election (voting TOMORROW by the way). Since the Democrats couldn't get it together to put a candidate on the ballot, a Republican Lubavitcher might just win the day. If that were to happen, I think it's safe to say he'd lose his seat in two years. But it would be a big deal in the interim.

Since the Q took the Patterson camp to task for its cynical mailers, I think it's only fair that I call this one into question. Did you receive it? If not, it may well be that you were not an intended recipient. As we all know, or at least most of us know who've lived here for awhile, the largest contingent of Chabad Lubavitcher Hasidim in the world live just east of us, in a pocket that is becoming larger all the time. Centered around the bustling Main Street of Kingston south of Eastern Parkway, near 770 EP, the spiritual home of the movement, as it was where the deceased American leader of the movement Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson (whom some have come to see as the Messiah btw) led his flock. It's a fascinating piece of Brooklyn life, the part that gets little coverage in the world of espresso and bistros and sky-high prices and high-rise development.

Menachem Raitport is running on the Republican line, and with the likely split vote among erstwhile Democrats - Shirley, Diana and Geoffrey - well, there you are. It's likely that SDorG will return to the Democratic fold next time around. The question I pose is whether it's unseemly to campaign so directly and explicitly for votes to a specific religious (and let's be honest, racial) community. Were a white gentrifier to campaign thusly, there's no question it would cause an uproar, and rightly so. In a diverse neighborhood, I wonder whether this doesn't cross the lines of decency.

All's fair in love and war?


The Snob said...

I dunno, Tim, this is more along the lines of the endorsements that every candidate sports in their flyers. The Lubavitchers and other orthodox types need reassurance from their leaders that any vote they should cast in an election is the "right" one. This is just telling those concerned what their leaders think. I've met Mendy Raitport, and he's a very genuine person who's run for a number of offices. I think it would be impossible for a Lubavitch candidate to get support in the Caribbean community, but the Lubavitch are strategic enough to support non-Orthodox candidates when it suits their interests. Given that the noxious corruption that is Albany has been in Democratic hands for decades, I didn't dismiss Raitport's "Republican" affiliation out of hand.

Anonymous said...

Other than a recent brief interlude, Republicans have controlled the NYS Senate for as long as I can remember.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Hmmm. Thinking on that defense. It's not that he's a bad dude - I have Orthodox friends who think quite highly of him. Come to think of it, the odd part of that statement is that I have Orthodox friends. Who'd of thunk starting a blog would lead to that?

I happen to think they could have been a less obvious with it's "our" time and he's "our" candidate. You know? Were you to say that as a regular ol' caucasian, or even an African-American, it would seem a bit over-the-top.

But no kidding ourselves. It's very much an identity candidacy. Diana's all about the Christian God, as are many of her supporters. They're happy to accept agnostic votes, but they'll NEVER give you credit. Always thanking God for this that and the other. I mean, if God is so all-powerful why bother voting at all?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Oh yes, sorry. Because he's working THROUGH us. Forgot that part.