Call me sensitive, but this rioting in Borough Park is really getting to me personally. I generally don't approve of starting up with anybody, and especially people who are serving you. And now I have to worry that every cop who sees my headgear will think I'm just like one of these animals? (As evidenced by this chat board that's been posted.) It's bad enough that someone named Weissman down South has to go fighting the Pledge of Allegiance. Change your name, buddy. Better yet, shut up.
Anyway, apart from the worst aspect of it- the rioting itself- one thing that really gets to me is this accusation (as if it somehow absolves the rioters) that the Chief of Police used the word "Jew" somehow. Jews, especially those who are visibly Jews, have really got to wake up to certain realities. Namely, if you appear unusual somehow, people will notice and it will stick in their minds. This is especially true of Chassidim, the whole point of whose life is to be different. So if the Chief is faced with the already unusual situation of a Chassidic riot, and sees a mob of men in coats and hats and peyot, what do you expect to pop into his head? (I guess it's somewhat related to that little tiff of putting "Jew couple" on a bill.)
Don't get me wrong: This is a great and tolerant country, where the vast majority of people, of all classes, races, and so on, have no problem with Jews and may even think they're terrific. I've been to the most WASPy events and seen evidence of this. (And no, it wasn't an Eddie Murphy-style "Especially not when I'm around" type of thing.) In addition, America is a very polite place, where even the most racist individuals are circumspect in their language, and not just because they're PC-whipped. This in opposition to wonderfully tolerant Europe, for example.
However, people notice details of skin color, head coverings, and more. It's natural, it happens to all of us, and Dov Hikind should cut it out.
Another troubling absolution-of-rioters is the harping on the original arrest. Right or wrong, I think it reflects a deeper Orthodox (and Jewish, and middle-to-upper-class) neurosis- that somehow, certain people don't "belong" in jail or shouldn't have trouble with the police. I noticed this recently in a blog entry criticizing attempts to get rabbis and the like to write letters for clemency for Abramoff. I'm sure the practice is common in many communities, and may not be completely wrong. But it certainly reflects this mindset- that there are no Jewish criminals, or, if there are, they shouldn't do hard time. And this leads to the excitable starting riots when cops do to a Jew what they do to others every hour of the day.
Anyway, put me foursquare on the side of law and order on this one, and against the enemies of society.
Wow. Back to ranting! Well, I better give it a rest for the Chag. Later, all!