Uptown Race-Baiting

There’s a candidate for City Council from Manhattan who has attacked another candidate for being Jewish.

What, you didn’t think these things happened in 2013? Guess again.

Thomas Lopez-Pierre is one of several candidates hoping to represent the Seventh Council District in Manhattan, which runs from the Upper West Side to Washington Heights. He contends that local district leader Mark Levine should not be elected because he is, in Mr. Lopez-Pierre’s words, a “white-Jewish candidate.” As The Observer reports this week, Mr. Lopez-Pierre sent a highly offensive email to an African-American supporter of Mr. Levine, using the N-word repeatedly.

To their credit, several public officials, including state Senator Adriano Espaillat, have condemned Mr. Lopez-Pierre’s offensive language, while several other politicians uptown have demanded that all candidates avoid attacks based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

What’s astonishing is that such an admonition seems necessary—and in Manhattan, no less.

Perhaps it’s best simply to ignore Mr. Lopez-Pierre. He will attract the support of no self-respecting public or party official, and very likely will suffer an ignominious defeat later this year.

But one thing is certain: he will get votes. Hopefully not many of them, but he won’t be shut out, either.

That means that there are voters in the district who either agree with Mr. Lopez-Pierre or simply don’t care.

And that’s troubling.

Uptown Race-Baiting