Monday, August 22, 2011

Teaneck: Blacks vs Jews

Twenty years after the Crown Heights Riots pitted Blacks against Jews in Brooklyn, I feel that Teaneck is about ripe to explode. Let me explain.
When my kids were younger, they played basketball every Sunday at the Rodda Center. It was a league made up of mostly Blacks and Jews, with a sprinkling of Hispanics, Asians and regular white kids. The teams were a mix of all the ethnicities, the coaches were a mix of parents of all ethnicities and everybody played and had fun. Like Teaneck in general, most of the kids were Black or Jewish. There just aren’t that many non-Jewish whites left in town, and there aren’t many Hispanics or Asians.
Sure, the stereotypes played out here exactly as they do in the NCAA and NBA. The black kids were shoot first, springs in their legs, highly athletic. The Jewish kids were slow, calculated and smart with the ball. That’s not a racist comment, it’s just the way it is in basketball.
A few years ago, and I don’t know the reason why, some of the Jewish parents decided this league wasn’t good enough for their kids. They pulled their kids out of the Rodda Center league and formed their own league, named in memory of a deceased township resident.
Teaneck had something that worked. The games and practices were scheduled so they would not conflict with Shabbat, and unlike the town’s two Little League Baseball organizations, Black kids and Jewish kids played together, and there were, to my knowledge, no fights or racist remarks. At least among the kids. I can’t speak for the parents.
But here, as in so many instances in this town, the Jews wanted to be separate. They chose to leave and form their own All-Jewish league.
And it’s not only the parents who separate themselves, the township is also guilty.
Recently I got a brochure for Teaneck’s after-school programs run by the Recreation Department. Looking through the pages, I noticed that any kid who attends a private or day school can’t participate in pretty much any activity offered by the town-funded department. They all begin at early afternoon times when only public school kids are able to make it.
The Recreation Department is funded by the township, with tax dollars that come from the entire town. I understand that the town has to fund the public schools with tax dollars that come from both those who use the schools and those who do not, but why is the Recreation Department catering to only one segment of the population? Why are there no after school activities offered by the Recreation Department that are available to private and day school students, i.e. starting at a later hour?
Why are these issues at the forefront today? Blame “Safe Teaneck.”
The morons who started this “Safe Teaneck” organization when they weren’t satisfied with their day school bus routes are to blame for opening a Pandora’s Box that was best left closed. They used “safety” as an excuse to get their bus stops moved closer to home. Then they moronically decided they would support the continuation of courtesy busing, which has absolutely nothing to do with their gripe, because they realized how racist they were actually being and thought they could make amends somehow. I mean “racist” in the sense that they didn’t want their kids at bus stops together with public school students (read: Black kids), not in the sense that they wanted their school bus stops to be closer to home. Of course, private school busing, which is used by over 2,000 students, is required by law and the $85,000 savings to the town was being made up for by a private grant. The courtesy busing, which is NOT required by law and truly is a waste of money, costs $265,000 and benefits fewer than 500 children. So instead of being truthful and fighting for their own cause, these morons from “Safe Teaneck” made it into a non-existent safety issue and, in my mind, caused the Blacks vs Jews issue to burst onto the scene once again.
So now, when the tax man cometh, let the Orthodox blame themselves for funding unnecessary “courtesy” busing, but let them also blame the town for having a Recreation Department that fails to provide programs for their kids.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Big Lie of "Safe Teaneck"

I got an email today from a friend, who forwarded a request that I attend the Board of Education meeting regarding the “bussing (sic) situation.” The adult who wrote the original request, and could not spell the word “busing” correctly, is actually a teacher in one of the local Jewish day schools. Maybe we have bigger problems than “bussing.”
Some local residents have formed an organization called “Safe Teaneck” ostensibly to fight against the new bus routes because, they claim, there is a safety issue. Too many kids in one place at one time. That sounds safer to me than one or two kids on an isolated street corner.
They’ve come up with a stupid slogan, “It’s about little kids crossing big streets.” To which I must ask, where are the parents? Shouldn’t they be walking their little kids to and from the bus stop? And if they are, why are we concerned about big streets?
Let me make it clear, this is not a safety issue, it is the issue of the spoiled rotten snobby Teaneck day school parents demanding to have it better than the goyim.
I’ve read some of the comments on various blogs and websites. One poor girl has to walk almost a quarter of a mile to her bus stop (and the girl is in high school). The organization claims that there will be dozens of kids and cars on residential street corners at 6:30 in the morning. Really? Maybe some Frisch kids and the older YNJ kids have an early bus, but to blatantly lie about the situation is just plain wrong.
I say this as an observant Jew, and a day school parent.
If you are unhappy that little Johnny, I mean Yoni, will have to walk a few extra blocks (or more likely his lazy mommy will have to drive him a few extra blocks), then just say so.
If you don’t want your day school kid at a bus stop with public school kids because you fear for his or her safety, then just let your racist mouth say that.
Don’t make this into a safety issue. It isn’t.