NYC mayor compared 84-year-old Holocaust survivor to a ‘plantation’-owner

Forward, Beth Harpaz, June 29, 2023

The woman, a tenant activist, complained about rising rents. Critics say the mayor was wrong to accuse her of racism

A heated exchange between New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Jeanie Dubnau, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor and tenant activist, ended with the mayor accusing Dubnau of racism. 

“Don’t stand in front like you treated someone that’s on the plantation that you own,” Adams told Dubnau Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Washington Heights

Some on Twitter accused Adams of playing the race card when Dubnau’s comments about rising rents had nothing to do with race. “She points her finger and he brought up slavery against her?” tweeted one critic

An article about the incident on the news website Hell Gate was headlined: “Eric Adams Compares New Yorker Mad About Rising Rents to a Plantation Owner.”

“Yes, that’s the mayor of New York City, comparing a rightfully cranky New Yorker who was asking a valid question about housing affordability, to a slaveowner,” Hell Gate said.

Others noted Dubnau’s long history fighting for tenants rights. “This woman is Jeanie Dubnau, the Co-Founder of the Riverside Edgecombe Neighborhood Association (RENA), a tenants & housing rights advocacy organization in Upper Manhattan,” tweeted Juan Rosa, national director of civic engagement at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. 

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