The New York Times has a generally good article on the current tensions in Crown Heights.
But the Times does screw up big time.
What did the Times do wrong?
Crown Heights is flaring up again, as it has every so often since the 1991 racial unrest that erupted after a 7-year-old black boy was fatally struck by a Hasidic driver. The violence also left a Jewish man dead.
That Jewish man, Yankel Rosenbaum, was murdered by a mob of black men in what many consider America's first (and, hopefully, its last) pogrom. The black child was killed in a car accident. True, the Jewish driver, part of the Rebbe's motorcade, was driving recklessly. But the death was still an accident. Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered.
Police response then was woefully inadequate. The Brooklyn courts failed. For Crown Heights Jews, 1991 was Kishniev all over again.
In 1991, blacks had nothing more to fear than arrest – or violence from other blacks. The Jews were in hiding.
The Times also fails to explain the (incorrect) religious basis behind Chabad's refusal to share information with police – mesira law.
Still, over all the Times gives you a portrait of a neighborhood teetering on the edge of an inferno.
The Jewish population of Crown Heights is said to be about double 1991. In other words, there are many more young Jewish men now than then, and there is no Rebbe to restrain them.
If violence does come, this time Jews will not be the only victims.
Let us all hope and pray Crown Heights can come back from the edge, before it is too late.
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]