Breaking news from CNN:
By Augusta Anthony, CNN
Updated 10:03 PM ET, Wed February 27, 2019
New York (CNN) A 12-year-old boy was arrested and charged with aggravated harassment on Wednesday after anti-Semitic graffiti was found drawn on a schoolyard in Queens last week, according to NYPD spokesperson Detective George Tsourovakas.
Dozens of swastikas, a Nazi eagle and the words “Hail Hitler” (sic) were found drawn in chalk on the pavement of PS 139’s schoolyard Friday morning. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the New York Police Department in its investigation…
The boy has been released to his mother, Tsourovakas said. Police would not provide further details on the case. …
“I am appalled and disgusted by the Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate that were scrawled in a Queens schoolyard,” Cuomo said in a statement before the arrest. “In New York, we have zero tolerance for such vile acts of anti-Semitism.”
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who represents the district, said on Friday that her office received photographs from a resident in the apartment building next to the school and immediately informed the police. According to Koslowitz, the area is a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.
At the time, Koslowitz said this was an exceptionally scary incident and described the images as “horrible, just horrible.” …
Truly unbelievable. I am shocked that a 12-year-old committed this crime. It’s completely unacceptable and has no place in our society. Thank you to @NYPDnews @NYPDHateCrimes for your swift action on this. https://t.co/hqymAktxpi— Karen Koslowitz (@CMKoslowitz) February 28, 2019
If Councilwoman Koslowitz is “shocked that a 12-year-old committed this crime,” she must not have known many 12-year-olds.
The kid is actually pretty adept at drawing non-dyslexic swastikas and hammer & sickles, so if this Great White Defendant is black, Latino, or Jewish and his mom can hire a clever PR firm to spin this as Transgressive Outsider Art, he may be looking forward to a Basquiat-like career.
If, however, he’s some Italian or Irish 12-year-old, well, his life is over.
In case you are wondering, PS 139 in Rego Park is about 40% white, with the rest Asian or Hispanic (few blacks). It’s up northwest of Forest Hills, where the Ramones were from. From Wikipedia on Rego Park, Queens:
Rego Park is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City. Rego Park is bordered to the north by Elmhurst and Corona, the east and south by Forest Hills, and the west by Middle Village. … There is a large Jewish population in the neighborhood, which features high-rise apartment buildings and detached houses, as well as a large commercial zone.
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 46.2% (13,068) White, 2.5% (698) African American, 0.1% (41) Native American, 31.7% (8,966) Asian, 0.1% (7) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (124) from other races, and 2.4% (674) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.6% (4,682) of the population. …
Like its neighbor Forest Hills, Rego Park has long had a significant Jewish population, most of which have Georgian and Russian Jewish ancestors, with a number of synagogues and kosher restaurants. Many Holocaust survivors settled in Rego Park after 1945. In the 1990s, Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, especially from Central Asia, moved in. Most of the residents are Bukharan Jewish, and the effect of life in the Soviet Union on the population has led Rego Park to have a Russian feel with many signs in Russian Cyrillic.
Okay, so this perhaps explains why the kid drew a hammer & sickle with a line through it: he was likely sick of the other kids saying, “My dad always says, “In Soviet Russia …'”
Most of the Bukharan Jewish immigrants in the neighborhood come from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and there is also Uzbek and Tajik cuisine in many Rego Park restaurants.
Immigrant populations from Albania, Bosnia, Israel, Romania, Iran, Colombia, South Asia, China, Bulgaria, Peru, and South Korea are also represented in the neighborhood, as well as many restaurants and stores operated by people of different nationalities.
In the 2000s and 2010s, many young professionals also moved in, and the average price of residential units in Rego Park increased correspondingly.