BuzzFeed reported about Charles (Joe) Hynes relationship with felon, ex-judge Sol (Solomon) Wachtler. Based on emails they obtained, Hynes was giving Wachtler confidential campaign canvassing reports and Wachtler was offering advice about how to take advantage of the findings. In violation of the law, the DA was using his work email account to conduct his campaign.
It was a friendly relationship where Wachtler jokingly addressed Joe as “Yos,” an abbreviated version of Yosef, the Hebrew or Yiddish equivalent of Joseph.
The dynamite revelation was Wachtler emailing Joe and referring to Thompson as a shvartze. In Yiddish, the word can be used non pejoratively, since it is simply the word for a black person. However, when mixed into an English conversation, it is invariably understood as pejorative and racist.
According to BuzzFeed,
A Hynes spokesman, shown the emails in full earlier Saturday, did not contest their authenticity.
But then the campaign took a new tack:
(On Saturday afternoon, Brad Gerstman, another Hynes spokesman, upon seeing the emails in full, stressed that Wachtler is a “friend and not a participant” in the campaign. The alleged use of such a slur, Gerstman said, is “certainly not something [Hynes] condones or would ever use… He might not even be able to tell you what that is.”
Yeah, right! A DA who loves tossing around Yiddish words with his ultra orthodox backers does not know one of the ten or so Yiddish words most known by non-Yiddish speakers. Next he will claim never to have shlepped out to Boro Park to complain about Thompson’s chutzpah. Oiy vey!
A few hours ago, the campaign tweeted: “The Re-Elect Charles “Joe” Hynes
#BrooklynDA Express is wheels up! Rolling up soon to your area in Brooklyn.” The first person thrown under that bus was Sol Wachtler. According to Gerstman: ““I think his [Hynes’] history regarding race relations is pretty clear and speaks for itself. Sol Wachtler, that may be a different story.”
Wachtler of course has a different version. He, the convicted extorter, claims he is a victim of someone trying to take advantage of him.
Poor Sol. He managed to get back his law license but he would like a presidential pardon. Being caught tossing out racist epithets is not the best way to appeal to the tender mercies of, dare I say it, a schvartze president. That is not how you go about begging for rachmunis (mercy).