Brooklyn Politician Apologizes For Accidentally Racist Newsletter

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Democratic Assembly candidate Ben Akselrod has spent the past 24 hours apologizing after sending thousands of voters a mailer lambasting the incumbent candidate for “allowing crime to go up over 50% in our negrohood.”

As the New York Times correctly points out, the actual logistics of making that typo instead of “neighborhood” are pretty questionable, but no need to split hairs here. Akselrod is very, very sorry for what he did. But disappointed in you guys for dwelling on it!

Akselrod has said that he takes “full responsibility for this inadvertent error” that “could be misconstrued as a racial slur.” The full statement below:

” I was deeply saddened and troubled to learn that a mailer sent out recently by my campaign for New York State Assembly, contained a typo which could be misconstrued as a racial slur. As the candidate, I take full responsibility for this inadvertent error and I am sorry to anyone who was offended by it.

For the record, to accuse me or my campaign of intentionally using racially inflammatory language is an insult. As a person who faced the scourge of discrimination for being born Jewish in the Soviet Union, I reject any form of racial and ethnic bias. I have always stood strongly and proudly for combating discrimination against any individual, irrespective of gender, race or religion.

It is very unfortunate that instead of focusing on the real problems of our neighborhoods, supporters of my opponent are focusing their energy on looking for orthographical errors and typos in our press releases and mailings. The facts are clear: this year, crime rate in the 61st Precinct went up dramatically and the current Assemblyman did nothing to stop this dangerous crime wave. This is the issue we should be talking about. By refusing to debate me, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz is denying voters an opportunity to hear firsthand about our differences and to make an educated choice on September 13.”

So there you have it. Let’s all leave this guy alone! Nothing to see here, except a potential hard-hitting debate with Assemblyman Cymbrowitz! No need to wonder on how on earth that slipped into a widely distributed campaign document! Nope, case closed.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

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