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Whom Should We Fear? Donald Trump or the Media

April 20, 2016 by Herbert Daughtry

Part Three

Before I record more of my critics’ alienation from the truth, facts, and fairness, I want to return to the events in Crown Heights in 1978. I admit to deliberately using provocative language. I did say, “When we organize our patrol, when men meet men, we will see what the people in the long Black coats will do.”

I also said more. On July 16, 1978, we organized a rally in front of 770 Eastern Parkway across the street from the Hassidic headquarters. We continued with a march to Empire Boulevard, and held another rally at the 71st Precinct. We wanted to show that we were under assault from both the police and Hasidim. About 5,000-7000 people were present, according to the media.

On the steps of the precinct, I said, “Next time the Hasidim touch one of our children, we are gonna tear this community up.” With that statement, I sought to buy time. I was expressing what some folks wanted to do. We did buy time – not a person was hurt nor a building was destroyed.

By the way, we did organize our community patrol. We named it “Brooklyn’s Black Community Citizen Patrol.” We outfitted our patrol with green jackets with small yellow and white stripes around the arms. The words, “serve, share, protect,” were written in black lettering across the back, and an image of Arthur Miller was within an outline of a pyramid. We patrolled the Crown Heights area, in particular, but many in the group were trained and served as our security. We had no more problems as long as we patrolled the community.

To return to 1991, below is one of my responses to a news source. It is lengthy, but it’s informative, interesting, and relevant. Hopefully, it will be useful for those who are struggling against the same problems. In my response, I cite other news outlets in which I believe was a part of the conspiracy, and a different view by columnist Bob Herbert. Also, I touch on the germane and important events of Williamsburg, Borough Park, and Crown Heights.


November 18, 1991
Eric Breindal
New York Post

Dear Mr. Breindal,

In your Tuesday, October 3, 1991 article, “Identifying Genuine Black Leaders,” you wrote: ‘The fact that Herbert Daughtry warned of more violence against Jews – I want to predict the same thing for Williamsburg’ – doesn’t disqualify him…’ again reveals the incorrigible addiction to distortion, and misrepresentation as it relates to people of African ancestry, which characterizes most of the New York Post journalists.

First, a point I find interesting, the Goldstein article in the Village Voice which you criticize didn’t mention me. Yet, in your distorted article you brought me into it. Why?

More importantly, one of the direct references to me in your article is inarguably negative in tone. The subtle attempt to make it appear that I am threatening all Jews obviously exacerbates an already tense situation and makes me the “boogie man,” “the anti-Semite,” or “the riot inciter.” Let me emphasize that my appeal for action referred to Williamsburg, specifically, and not to Jews, in general.

With regards to your saying, I “warned of more violence against Jews,” it is very important to note that when I ask people to cite one example where I said or did anything that can be honestly interpreted as inflaming the crowd or as anti-Semitic, the only thing they point to is my statement at the Cato funeral, where I pleaded for quick action to prevent violence. And, to my knowledge the only ones who have done that are Lila Weymouth, Nightwatch (September 4, 1991); David Evanier, New Republic (October 14, 1991); Robert W. Laird; and, Daily News (August 29, 1991)- Mr. Laird is not sure if what I said was meant as a threat, although he admits it was “helpful counsel”; Mr. Ari L. Goldman, New York Times (August 31, 1991); Councilman Noach Dear, Assemblyman Doug Hikind, and the outside agitators who marched in front of my home on September 15, 1991 – surely an interesting collection of bedfellows. This really says that they cannot cite an example of an offensive word or action; they therefore have to make up something to fit into their sinister design.

Here are my exact words from the transcript of the funeral, and while it may be lengthy, I feel it necessary to include the context in which the statement was made.

“Well, I know I have been long on the history and I know some will criticize me, but I don’t want to see more of these occasions. I’ve been around a long time. Lord knows I don’t want to see it happen again. We have got to rise to the occasion.. And if it happens again, and it will happen again if we can’t read the signs of the times and move swiftly and do something meaningful; if we can seize the moment, face the truth, confess our sins, our failures and weaknesses and commit ourselves to right the wrongs, to heal the rifts, to bridge the distance that separates us; if we can lay hold on the events of this day and allow them to serve the interests of justice and fairness; if we can take the tension of these days and not diffuse it but use it, then little Gavin Cato would not have died in vain.

The Chinese character, you know, for crisis, I’m told also means opportunity and danger. We have the opportunity to do the right thing, to end the abuse of police power, and to end the double standard, the preferential treatment. Let justice be even-handed. Let there be an equitable distribution of goods and services. Put the young people to work. Let’s turn this midnight into morning. It is dangerous, yes, it’s dangerous if we don’t do something about it. If we let the events just drift and drift, we will be back here very soon and there may be more fire next time. That was just a taste of what awaits on the horizon and the next time it might not be just Crown Heights. Look to Williamsburg. I want to predict that the same ingredients that brought the explosion here to Crown Heights now exists in Williamsburg. Let us move. Let’s do something now. Don’t wait until it explodes.”

Also let me include another statement that I made at the beginning of the speech. “I want to reflect on the injustice and failures of bygone years. It’s a thankless task, but I think I have earned the right. I do so not to inflame, but to educate and to appeal for change. Someone has said, ‘Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.” Let us not ignore the lessons of history. Across the years, we have had enough killings and destructions, abuses, conflicts, and injustice in this community.'”

Clearly, these are statements pleading for action to circumvent violence. Only a grossly biased mind could interpret my statements as threatening Jews, urging violence, justifying violence, or exalting in violence. I hate violence against anyone, and I try to prevent it. One of the ways to prevent it is to correct conditions which can produce the unwanted event.

…. to be continued.