“Too Jewish”

by John Washington on October 9, 2017

There isn’t much I disdain as much as racism. One of those things is false claims of racism. Another is sanitizing the record in order to hide either of those.

Respect Our Scottsdale Students” (aka “ROSS”) is a Facebook group which describes its mission thusly:

“Regaining the trust of the Voter and the Legislator requires new approaches to our SUSD [Scottsdale Unified School District] budget… Override Funds did not fix SUSD. Improving Classroom performance must be the primary driving factor behind EVERY future spending decision.”

ROSS is ostensibly published by a group of folks who share those interests. A recent thread on the ROSS Facebook page discussed mostly the portion of the quarter-billion dollar Proposition 123 bond that’s targeted toward reconstruction of campuses in South Scottsdale.

Interjected into that thread was a series of comments by longtime community activist Nancy “Loose Cannon” Cantor, in which she chided ROSS for what she characterized as their previous inattention to South Scottsdale. Nancy included this grenade:

“…[as] a supporter of the members of the [SUSD] Governing Board who are “too Jewish” I find it harder and harder to swallow the diatribe you [ROSS] and your associates spew.”

I replied that antisemitism is a highly inflammatory accusation and that I hoped Nancy could back it up.

Nancy retorted, in essence, that she didn’t say what she said (unfortunately for her, I copied her words exactly for accuracy, and so I could quote them back to her); that we should ‘look at her last name’ (whatever that means); that the conversation didn’t involve me; and that I should calm down and butt out.

I say “in essence,” because about 5 seconds after my last reply to Nancy, the thread was scrubbed. So, I can’t quote the rest of it to you exactly.

But my reply included words to the effect that racism affects EVERYONE in a community, and EVERYONE should be part of that discussion. If we are going to accuse someone of racism, we’d better be right, lest we erode our own credibility.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Nancy has made a self-righteous mountain out of a mole hill, in order to bolster her credibility or to prop up some weak argument that she’s trying to pedal.

And since she has a history of working both sides of a given issue, it’s pretty clear that Nancy’s sense of self-importance and her seat at the table are more important than whatever noble issue brought her to said table.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find that Nancy is yet another shill in Virginia Korte’s efforts to hijack the school-age-family demographic for her own political ends, and to use as a tool in Korte’s efforts to personally profit from the ongoing gentrification of the McDowell Road corridor.

As I said, there aren’t too many things I despise more than a racist. You can add “shill” and “liar” to that list. And for her efforts, I’ll award Nancy the ScottsdaleCitizen “Quote of the Day.”

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Cantor October 9, 2017 at 8:42 am

John, John, John. I am Jewish. Those statements were said to me and about me, and about the Governing Board to other people. After all this time didn’t you know that?

I support the Governing Board on many things and on some I do not.

They were elected to govern, and communicating with them is important or you wind up with what we have in SUSD today. Fear, distrust, rumors and division.

I have fought to promote most of those things you claim I am opposed to.

And the thread wasn’t totally scrubbed I just didn’t want to get involved in verbal gymnastics and one ups-manship with you. I knew it was stupid when I did it. Because there is nothing you like better than gutting people.

We have racism aplenty in this community. And there are people in this community who are more than happy to promote it. And others who are eager to close their eyes and hope it will go away.

Accuse me of what ever you want. Anti-Semitism won’t fly.

Gentrification……go talk to Dana Close and Denny Brown. While on the housing board I fought that and have for many years. Who is promoting it? The founders of the Scottsdale Gateway Alliance, is a start.

As far as being ignorant of the bond and school rebuilds, you are entitled to your opinion. I went to all of the community meetings Peterson held on facilities and have read all of the facility assessment reports. I stick to my end of the community because the schools in the Coronado area were supposed to be rebuilt in 1999. They still stand and there was a reason why they were allowed to go ruin.

But that is a story for another day.

Engaging in conversation is better than what goes on on ROSS.

If you are ever a victim of anti-semitism, and I hope you are not, it is scary and sad. And it makes you angry and it makes you want to go hide. But that isn’t going to happy. I will stand in opposition to racism in any form, any time and anywhere. I will not go on silently and put others in jeopardy.
Kol haolam kulo gesher tzar me’od V’haikar lo lo l’fached klal

Reply

John Washington October 9, 2017 at 10:49 am

1) You accused ROSS of antisemitism.
2) I cautioned you that it was an inflammatory accusation, and that you should be able to back it up.
3) Instead of backing it up, you attacked me.
4) You still haven’t backed it up with anything other than your own assertions.
5) No, I didn’t know you are Jewish, and it wouldn’t have mattered to me if you were. What matters to me is the recklessness of your unwarranted accusations.

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José Velarde October 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

Since we’re talking about things we despise and dishonesty, can we add fake journalism? This piece is chuck full of opinion and bias. Is that what passes for journalism nowadays? If your aim was to spread information and facts, you missed. Your bias is plain for all to see… if you’re judging Nancy on her intentions, well who can ever truly know anyone’s intentions… but name me someone, anyone who has worked harder for the good of our students… anyone will do… I have been around SUSD since the 1980s. As a student, a parent and a community representative. I know no one that comes even close… I don’t always agree with her, but she has my utmost respect. Something I can’t say about you. Don’t know you, but your article speaks volumes about you…

BTW if you don’t thing the South Scottsdale schools are little more than an afterthought for the most part in Ross and previous SUSD administrations, then you haven’t been around much, haven’t been paying attention and/or you didn’t you your homework… this article is what I refer to as taking potshots from the cheap seats…

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John Washington October 9, 2017 at 10:40 am

Well first, here’s my “opinion” of you, Jose: you are a pompous ass who has accomplished essentially zero for the families in SUSD and the taxpayers who support it. Like Nancy, your greatest talent is self-promotion.

Second, for all the words you wasted to criticize me, you haven’t aimed even one at the core of my post: unsubstantiated accusations of antisemitism. Further, ad hominem attacks against me don’t serve your call for journalistic integrity.

Speaking of which: Third, I never claimed to be a journalist. This blog contains my opinions, based on my experience and observations. And many times the dots connect up.

Lastly, Nancy owns her words. As long as she refuses to back up her allegation that ROSS is antisemitic, then I’m at least half-right. I can prove at least half the rest. So I’ve got a C+, minimum for my “journalism.” I’ll take that.

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José October 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

I stand corrected. You are no journalist.

Funny you should accuse me of ad hominem attack when that’s all your blog does. You obviously don’t know me or what I may or may not have done for our students. My track record is there if you really cared to find out. But that’s obviously not your style.

And no, your blog isn’t just about what you claim it to be. You make many more claims about Nancy as if they were facts. Not once do you say in your opinion… Or the fact that you don’t bother researching facts…

I have a feeling I know who your “sources” are … certain voices have a certain ring to them…

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John Washington October 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm

My post is only ad hominem if you ignore the fact (as you conveniently do) that I’m quoting Nancy precisely. Her own words are the focus.

I’ve observed your commentary for some time, and it consists mostly of what you accuse me of doing: attacking others and ascribing motives for which you have never expressed a basis. Coupled with the fact that I’m not aware of a single positive thing you’ve accomplished.

I don’t need to consult any “sources,” and I didn’t consult anyone in writing this.

It’s all based on my own observation. Whatever “voices” you hear are in your own head, because all these words are mine… just like Nancy’s are hers, and yours belong to you.

I’m comfortable with my direct knowledge of Nancy’s history to stand by what I’ve stated factually. If she has an issue with it, she should get a referral from the Bar, and we’ll dig into this some more.

Furthermore, I “think” you are a shill. Happy to do some research on THAT aspect as well, if you want to go down that road.

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Jose Velarde October 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm

“Nancy “Loose Cannon” Cantor”

“Nancy has made a self-righteous mountain out of a mole hill, in order to bolster her credibility or to prop up some weak argument”

“it’s pretty clear that Nancy’s sense of self-importance and her seat at the table are more important than whatever noble issue brought her to said table”

“Nancy is yet another shill in Virginia Korte’s efforts”

“You can add “shill” and “liar” to that list.”

Those aren’t ad-hominem attacks? And so we’re clear, when you state “facts” without any proof, they’re facts. But when someone else does it, they’re liars and shills for someone else… Makes perfect sense. And you’re also not attacking me… Interesting world you live in…

Rosemary Ghirardi October 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm

I met you once John. Until I read your blog about Nancy Cantor, I did not know much about you. Your blog speaks for itself. When you call people names, and make personal comments, you lose your argument. Not nice.

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John Washington October 9, 2017 at 4:05 pm

So, since Nancy called the ROSS poster an antisemite, does that mean she lost her argument, too?

It’s interesting to me that you and Jose are so critical of me for pointing this out, and you have not condemned Nancy’s comment. That says much more about you than whatever you’ve divined about me.

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José October 9, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Nancy has stated why she said what she said. I have no reason to not believe her. She and I have had many disagreements, but I am unaware of her ever lying to make a point…

You on the other hand, just claim that your opinion is based on facts. What those facts are, apparently we’re supposed to take your word on them…

That’s the difference.

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John Washington October 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm

I never claimed Nancy was lying. But, there are hundreds of ways to be dishonest without actually lying.

The facts are the words than Nancy published, and they have never been in dispute.

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José October 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm

See what I mean? It’s like you can’t help yourself. Being rude and demeaning is your default. Speaks to your character. Third time (4th?) you imply I’m dumb or ignorant. Why? Because that’s how you make an argument? I suppose if the facts won’t do it for you…

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John Washington October 9, 2017 at 6:53 pm

I’m amazed that you are so deluded that you don’t see you are exposing yourself as a complete hypocrite.

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John Washington October 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

When you start with facts and draw a logical conclusion, it’s not ad hominem, Jose. You shouldn’t use big words that you don’t understand.

Reply

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