A now removed plaque in Bay Ridge. Photo by Susan De Vries

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Daily has issued an apology for the article they published last week entitled “Don’t be so hard on the neo-Nazis“. The apology only directly apologizes for the piece’s “inflammatory headline,” and not for dismissing Obama as incompetent and Malcolm X as a thug while applauding “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming”, or any of the other offensive material in the body of the piece. The apology comes after grassroots organizing group Fight Back Bay Ridge posted a doc of CNG’s advertisers and called for a boycott of the publisher. Following the formal apology, Fight Back Bay Ridge has called off their boycott. In addition to pulling the live post of the column, CNG has, according to Fight Back Bay Ridge, permanently cancelled author Joanna DelBuono’s column.

 

On the heels of the violence in Charlottesville last weekend, Community News Group’s Brooklyn Daily published a column titled “Don’t be so hard on the neo-Nazis.

The op-ed is a critique of those who want to “change the past by knocking down a statue.” The author additionally dismisses Malcolm X as a “thug who incited violence” and implicitly said Obama, “the sore-losing Dems” and “a biased media” are more responsible for current violence than Trump. The column ends with an unrelated paragraph expressing excitement for “Sharknado 6: Back to the Sharks”.

The Brooklyn Daily is a print and online newspaper you’ve likely seen around Brooklyn in blue boxes bearing its sister site The Brooklyn Paper’s name. The article’s author, Joanna DelBuono, has been writing her Not for Nuthin! column for years. Previous topics she’s focused on include “Sharknado 5″, a warning about Facebook hoaxes, and a critique of Trumpcare.

Yesterday morning, after the piece was published, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, who represents parts of Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Midwood and Brighton Beach, posted an eviscerating critique of the column which he’d sent to the Brooklyn Daily.

“I never thought I’d see the day when Nazis and racism would be not simply condoned but applauded in your pages,” Cymbrowitz’s Facebook post reads. He continues:

For your columnist to assign responsibility for the Charlottesville violence to anyone except the white supremacists holding swastikas and other anti-Semitic placards is nothing less than repugnant. It also demonstrates just how far your publication has strayed from any semblance of professionalism or decency.

After labeling the column a “cheap attempt at controversy” he ends with “you should be ashamed.”

The headline of the article has since been changed to “Stop whining about statues!” with the same content; someone also added in three new contradictory hyperlinks to clips of Donald Trump saying he will pay the legal fees for those who beat up protestors and two CNN pieces respectively entitled “Man accused of attacking rally protestor says Trump inspired him,” and “Obama calls for unity in Thanksgiving Message.

Within the umbrella company of Community News Group are a wide array of publications, including The Brooklyn Paper, Caribbean Life and Gay City News, all of which currently have featured stories about fighting off white supremacists, condemning hate in Charlottesville and protests against Trump’s NYC homecoming. The Brooklyn Daily’s current featured story is about the removal of a Bay Ridge plaque commemorating Robert E. Lee with quotes from local pols condemning the history of slavery in America and referring to the removal as an “easy decision.”

Comments on the story are largely in favor of the piece with some critique, one commenter stating “MLK statues disgust me,” and another arguing that, “Taking down statues does nothing to stop out of control black crime.”

The controversial column is, unsurprisingly, currently listed as the Brooklyn Daily’s most popular story as of this writing.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. A particularly disgusting attempt at clickbait, I’m guessing. “Popular” doesn’t mean the people reading it are agreeing with it.

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