The Sounds of Silence

The Sounds of Silence

Guest column by Jeff Kunkes

Jeff Kunkes
Jeff Kunkes

Last week a 25-year veteran of the Riverdale police force, Maj. Greg Barney, was supervising a raid of a house filled with drug dealers. One of the dealers who plague the African-American community here ran out the back door shooting, landing four bullets into Maj. Barney and killing him.

The Jewish community has always has tried to reach out to the black community. Every MLK Day we go to our synagogues to hear a gospel choir. Every other Passover the American Jewish Committee has a seder for the joint communities. Any time there is a perceived injustice to some group of the community, our rabbis rail from the pulpit about our duty to speak out and to help out.

Yet I have not heard one word of sorrow or support or sympathy for a brave officer trying to improve his community and the life of his neighbors. There have been no marches, no calls for respect for the law, and no one from our multiple alphabet organizations saying this is wrong.

Maybe it is cooler to yell “Hands up, don’t shoot” even though this is a false narrative. Maybe our voices would grow if the president got on national television and said that if he had a brother, he would look like Greg Barney. Maybe if he was a drug dealer stopped by a policeman and shot, our sensibilities would be more riled.

Our Jewish community is very established and doing well, content to read The New York Times and sit back and ponder all the victims and injustices that our left-leaning leaders claim are happening although the facts are often quite different.

Where are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? How about Attorney General  Loretta Lynch going on the airwaves, supporting law enforcement and decrying the violence against those who protect us?

No, this is not a call for the rabbis to go on a rant about gun control. That is for another column and another discussion. This is just a notification that the silence about the death of a good man, doing his job and trying to better the world (truly tikkun olam), is deafening from the Jewish community.

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