A trustee of the Jersey City Board of Education is being criticized for writing a Facebook message that seemed to blame the Jewish community for the attack on a kosher grocery store last week, the website Insider NJ reported.
“Mr. Anderson and Ms. Graham went directly to the Kosher supermarket,” board of education trustee Joan Terrell wrote, referring to the shooters. “I believe they knew they would come out in body bags. 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?”
Terrell went on to blame Jews for gentrification taking place in Jersey City. The Orthodox population there has grown as community members left Brooklyn seeking a lower cost of living.
Joan Terrell is an elected member of the Jersey City Board of Education, she says that the murders of the Jews in Jersey City may be justified. @jcps_district pic.twitter.com/H5o0yqpcnO— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) December 17, 2019
Terrell’s language was condemned by Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop, who said Terrell’s words didn’t represent the local black community.
“The African-American community has been nothing short of amazing over the last week,” Fulop, who is Jewish, told Insider NJ. “Countless people have reached out to support their neighbors and express the sentiment that we are all working towards a better city together. It has been inspirational to see the community pull together and that is the Jersey City we all know. I’m saddened by her comments overall and the ignorance they demonstrate.”
Terrell’s post also referenced local Jews who have been convicted of crimes, including Solomon Dwek, a real estate developer who was convicted of fraud and then turned informant, leading to the arrest of several local political officials and Jewish community leaders on multiple charges, including the trafficking of human organs.
Terrell did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Insider NJ.