Guyanese man – Grafton Thomas – held over stabbing of five at Hanukkah event in New York

Grafton Thomas in detention

Grafton Thomas in detention

A man of Guyanese parentage was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder after he allegedly stabbed five persons who were celebrating Hanukkah on Saturday in New York City.

The suspect identified as Grafton Thomas, 37, was arrested on Sunday by two lawmen at West 144th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.

During a press conference yesterday morning, Thomas’ lawyer Michael Sussman stated that the suspect’s  mother Kim Thomas, a registered nurse moved to the US in the 1980’s.         

The UK Daily Mail reported that the mother did not speak during the press conference and the attorney said the mother was obviously deeply concerned about those who were victimized by this as well as about her own son and his status.

Thirty-seven-year-old Thomas, a former US marine,  is accused of bursting into the Monsey, New York home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg.  Rottenberg was hosting a Hanukkah party when Thomas carried out the attack with a machete.

In addition to the attempted murder charges the accused was also charged with one count of burglary.  Bail was set at US$5 million and Thomas remains jailed.

A statement from the family issued by Thomas’s lawyer stated that he has a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations. He has no history of similar  violent acts and no convictions for any crime. He has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races. He is not a member of any hate groups.

The family’s pastor, the Rev. Wendy Paige, said Thomas has been suffering from mental illness and that his family believes that the condition was the cause of the alleged stabbings – not hatred toward Jewish people

Prosecutors said Thomas was granted a conditional dismissal of menacing and reckless endangerment charges in Greenwood Lake last summer, and his lawyer said his only conviction was for a driving-related violation.

He was busted for allegedly possessing a .38-calibre revolver with a defaced serial number in Brooklyn in March 2011 and for punching a police horse in Manhattan in June 2002, sources said according to a nypost.com report.

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Comments

  • Trevor  On December 31, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    African-American brothers and sisters have told me that they are being displaced from their homes by greedy landlords and speculators. This could be the root of the problem.

    Add the racism that comes from the white community (including Jews), and you have someone who wants to storm into a white people gathering to seek revenge for the harm that the gentrification has caused onto the minority groups who lived there for hundreds of years.

  • Trevor  On December 31, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Jersey City’s mayor is calling for a school board member to resign over a Facebook post in which she called Jews who moved to the city “brutes” and suggested a deeper “message” to the deadly attack at a kosher market there last week.

    The mayor, Steven Fulop, was reacting to remarks posted online over the weekend by the board member, Joan Terrell-Paige, who is black.

    In her post, Ms. Terrell-Paige questioned the outpouring of fellowship and support for Jersey City’s Jewish residents in the wake of the Dec. 10 attack.

    “Where was all this faith and hope when Black homeowners were threatened, intimidated, and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the jewish community,” Ms. Terrell-Paige wrote in the post, which has since been deleted. Ms. Terrell-Paige was elected to the school board in November 2018.

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    Such an attitude, Mr. Fulop wrote on Twitter, was unacceptable.

    “My opinion is she should resign,” he wrote. “That type of language has no place in our schools and no place amongst elected officials.”

    The mayor also characterized Ms. Terrell-Paige’s remarks as well outside the mainstream. “Her comments don’t represent Jersey City or the sentiment in the community at all,” he wrote in a separate post. He did not respond to requests for further comment.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On December 31, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    As soon as I heard the last name Thomas, I wondered about whether he is of Guyanese background.

    VedaNM

    • Yvonne-K  On December 31, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Yes Veda….quite like when we hear domestic violence murders, fraud and embezzlement crimes committed by persons living in Queens or Brooklyn, NY with Indian names we automatically assume that they’re Guyanese right. Do you really think that only Guyanese people have the name Thomas? How small minded.

      • Emanuel  On December 31, 2019 at 3:13 pm

        This man is a serial abuser of Afro Guyanese. Just in the last few hours, he accused Trevor of “restricted intellect “.

        This man gets a free pass.

      • Trevor  On January 1, 2020 at 9:49 pm

        Mr. Veda doesn’t seem to understand that circumstances can push people to do extreme acts. Thomas could have been evicted because of gentrification for all we know, but he acted his anger towards the wrong issue.

        Thomas didn’t wake up one morning and decided to cutlass some Jewish people. There were other factors in play. There are tensions between African-Americans and Whites because Harlem is being gentrified and the poor classes who lived there for hundreds of years have nowhere to go.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On December 31, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Yvonne: Some communities have names more common to them. A friend who just drew the article to my attention told me his step brother’s surname is Thomas. I have an uncle whose last name is Thomas (converted to Christiaity). These just a couple of many I Know.
    VedaNM

    • Yvonne-K  On December 31, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      VNM…a name that you know does not automatically make another person with the same name a Guyanese. And what does your uncle conversion to Christianity have to do with anything here.

  • Andrew Wright  On December 31, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    The argument in the discus threads of the daily newspapers is whether this man is Guyanese or not.

    The Stabroek News has stated that the Guyanese Constitution defines a “Guyanese” as one born to parents of Guyanese birth, even if abroad. Therefore, he is considered a “Guyanese” through parentage.

    However, it makes me question the same thing Yvonne. Are the credit card scammers Guyanese, that they have large mansions in Guyana while doing their crimes in the USA? Why are they accepted as Guyanese, while this man is not? Is it because he is poor? Mentally unsound? Black?

    What if the accused was of a different socio-economic or ethnic background? Would Guyanese accept that person, rather than conveniently casting blame for his actions, while claiming that he is not Guyanese?

    This story has opened some dangerous can of worms in relation to who is Guyanese or not. As one guy has posted here on this forum, perhaps numerous times, the oil wealth is transforming the social fabric of Guyana into a divided society.

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 31, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    My Barbadian Buddy wrote:

    While I am sorry to hear of his plight, why did he have to use my name?

    Grafton

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 31, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Andrew Wright wrote:

    ” the oil wealth is transforming the social fabric of Guyana into a divided society.”

    ABSOLUTE NONSENSE

    • Andrew Wright  On January 1, 2020 at 1:18 am

      Pardon me but wasn’t an article that was posted regarding Venezuelan migrants a hot topic on this forum? One lad preached that the Venezuelan migrants be tolerated and he and a few were mocked as being laissez-faire people talking from a chair.

      The Guyana Times also wrote that disturbing editorial regarding Haitians a few months ago and the effects of that racist drivel went far and wide.

      It has been told to me personally, that Guyanese are not happy with what they deem as “foreigners” coming to Georgetown, whether it be a Venezuelan migrant or a Surinamese businessman.

      Can you explain this outrageous form of anti-foreigner sentiment, when a foreign company, namely Exxon-Mobil, discovered oil offshore Guyana?

      I believe that me too, an Irishman, would be treated poorly with my Guyanese wife if we ever decide to visit this decade.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 1, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Yvonne: It burns you, doesn’t it (why, I don’t know) that my conjecture was correct – that Thomas is Guyanese!

    You have made this a racial issue identifying Indians: “Yes Veda….quite like when we hear domestic violence murders, fraud and embezzlement crimes committed by persons living in Queens or Brooklyn, NY with Indian names we automatically assume that they’re Guyanese right.” Nowhere did I say anything about black or African.

    Neither my (non-Indian) friend’s half-brother was, nor my uncle is, black but yet they both have the name “Thomas”. Why I mentioned my uncle was converted to Christianity? Because as would be expected, Indians don’t carry the surname, Thomas, unless (very unlikely) they inherited from an ancestor who was non-Indian or MOST LIKELY they were CONVERTED and given a Jesus’ apostle’s name.

    Next, I said “Some communities have names more common to them”. As an extension, the spellings are often unique to communities. Take my last name ‘Mohabir’. At least two other ways to spell it is ‘Mahabir’ and ‘Mahavir’. I can usually tell which community uses which name. Guyanese use ‘Mohabir, Trinis use Mahabir and those in India use Mahavir.
    Then, take as example, the name ‘Abraham’. It is often also spelled ‘Ibrahim’. Jews and Christians use the former and Muslims, the latter. Similarly, the Biblical name, Solomon (like late Joe Solomon, my cousin whose father or grand was also converted) and Suliman. One is more likely to see Jews and Christians use the former, while Muslims the latter.

    (As an aside on domestic violence, maybe you missed this concurrent article on this blog on whether there is an ‘Ethnic Impetus in Domestic Violence’:

    “The latest figures (2018) for global rates of domestic violence lists the following top fifteen nations: Namibia, Guinea, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Congo, Cameroon, Uganda, Rawanda, Haiti, Tanzania, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh Ghana. These are followed (in no specific order) by Chad, Afghanistan, Sudan, Guatemala, Mali, Somalia, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Russia. A look at the ethno-differentiation among these nations will clearly debunk any assertion about ‘ethnic impetus’ for domestic abuse.”

    So, who then is “small-minded”. Could it not be you, who were likely looking in a mirror when you aimed your barb at me?

    VNM.

    • Yvonne-K  On January 1, 2020 at 8:18 am

      VNM….I don’t know where your racial BS is coming from but I was not making it a racial issue….it was simply about hearing a name and assuming from that name that the person is a Guyanese, whether it be an Indian or black person. I’m not interested in your long tirade about nothing. You seem to be the one that is burned.

      • Emanuel  On January 1, 2020 at 9:08 am

        This man needs to see a professional for help.?He’s clearly not well! That much is obvious.

  • Andrew Wright  On January 1, 2020 at 1:23 am

    I know for a fact that Jersey City is undergoing a transformation from low-middle class to upper-middle class. Where will the working poor and lower middle classes go to if they are forced to leave? Homelessness in NYC has been skyrocketing that it’s no longer a conspiracy that the homeless are bussed into other counties to prevent “eyesores” and panhandling on Fifth Ave and Canal St.

    It’s sad that a war veteran has committed this horrible crime, but there is more to the story. Why did he specifically target the Orthodox Jewish community, and not engage himself in a typical mass-knifing outburst?

    Anti-semitism is ruled out, and based on my research, Guyana doesn’t have that much of an anti-Jewish problem due to little or no presence of such issues.

    What factors compelled this man to do what he did? Hopefully, a fair trial can help us understand why he targeted the Orthodox Jewish gathering.

  • Trevor  On January 1, 2020 at 11:10 am

    I wonder if Mr. Thomas would have been better off in Guyana than in AmeriKKKa fighting wars for the empire and returning home a broken man. Unlike the racist white man who has no remorse for killing the weak, this man might have lost it after fighting a war and being trained to kill. It takes a toll…but why Jewish people? It’s GENTRIFICATION!

    White Jewish people are being collectively used as a scapegoat for the GENTRIFICATION of New York cities.

    Most Guyanese people don’t even know what is a Jewish person. Thank God there aren’t that many here either. I wouldn’t want to be living on the streets and suffer under gentrification. Let America deal with that!

  • Trevor  On January 1, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    indel Zaetz’s husband was chased down the street last week by a group of men while he was on his way home from work, just off of Eastern Parkway, the broad thoroughfare that runs through the middle of Crown Heights, in Brooklyn.

    “He came home really spooked,” said Zaetz, 29, as she was on her way home from midday shopping. “He said, ‘I’m not going out at night anymore.’ I said, ‘Finally.’”

    Out of six attacks on Jews in Brooklyn in the last month and a half, three have occurred in Crown Heights. On Oct. 15, a teenager beat a Jewish man with a stick. On Nov. 19, a high school-age yeshiva student was “sucker-punched” by an assailant. On Saturday, a man was punched without provocation on his way to synagogue. The last incident came amid four attacks on Jewish people — two of them on children — that occurred on the same weekend.

    The attacks have triggered fears in those communities that more violence is in the offing. In Crown Heights, many residents interviewed this week, like Zaetz, have a story about an attack or a near miss that didn’t get reported to the police. Jews are being targeted, say residents of these communities, by members of non-white ethnic groups who see Jews as symbols of gentrification in their neighborhoods.

    “It’s less of an anti-Semitic thing than they needed a target to respond to this word: gentrification,” said Mendel Turner, 28, a salesman at the Borsalino hat store on Kingston Avenue.

    The New York Police Department declined to respond to emailed questions from the Forward, and declined to make any representatives available to answer questions.

    The incidents come amid reports about a 37% national rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, according to FBI statistics. Yet the Jewish residents of Crown Heights say what’s happening in their neighborhoods is unrelated to the white nationalism that seems to have fueled numerous incidents of Nazi-inflected vandalism nationally. Indeed, no one who was arrested for perpetrating an anti-Semitic hate crime in New York City in the 22 months leading up to October has been associated with a far right group.

    The attacks in Crown Heights are “clearly anti-Semitic,” said the executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Rabbi Eli Cohen. But, he said, “if someone feels that white supremacists are feeling more empowered, how would that make a young minority kid hit a Jewish person?”

    Crown Heights residents are particularly attuned to violence against Jews because of the neighborhood’s history of racial tension. That culminated in violent riots in 1991 after a car escorting the Lubavitcher Rebbe — the leader of the worldwide Chabad movement, headquartered in Crown Heights — hit two small children, killing one. During the rioting, a Jewish man was stabbed to death by a black assailant.

    “This is not the eighties over again,” Cohen said, but the attacks have left residents scared and looking for ways to limit their risk.

    Zaetz said that she is having her elementary school-age son take the bus to school — a three-block journey he used to do by foot. When explaining her decision, Zaetz said she used the early evening winter darkness as an excuse, lest she scare him.

    “I don’t feel threatened when I walked down the streets, but I know this area has changed,” said Shani, 36, who declined to give her last name. Public school children frequently yell “Heil Hitler!” into the front gate of her kids’ school, she said.

    Yaacov Behrman
    @ChabadLubavitch
    Deeply concerned with increase in violent incidents against Jews in NY. Most recently, last night a chasidic Jew was knocked to the ground in Williamsburg , and a Jew was beaten in Crown Heights 6am this morning. A parent asked me today if it is safe for her kids to walk alone!

    Embedded video
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    Crown Heights residents say that the attacks here are caused by local issues, and need local solutions. They say that rapid gentrification, less intensive policing and other pressures are combining to stoke animosity between Jewish and other minority communities.

    Jews are pegged as the representatives of gentrification because, in many poor Brooklyn neighborhoods, they are, says Avi Leshes, a director of economic development at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. He pointed to hotly contested development project like one in the Broadway Triangle, in East Williamsburg, from a Hasidic-owned company.

    And while the attacks are targeting Jews, it may be because black people identify Judaism as “a form of almost hyper-whiteness,” according to Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Black Movement Center, a not-for-profit group that promotes communal organizing in the black community in Crown Heights.

    In that regard, Griffith said, the attacks may Be an extension of animosity toward white people in general, who drive gentrification in Brooklyn. He added that the attacks are not on the radar of people involved in social justice initiatives in Crown Heights.

    “To the extent that people hear about it, they are probably thinking about it in the national context of anti-Semitic acts, and the larger landscape of hatred that is being painted by Donald Trump,” he said.

    In Crown Heights, however, the Orthodox residents — mostly members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement — have been living in the neighborhood for decades. Indeed, in the late 1960s, the Lubavitcher rebbe spoke out against large numbers of white New Yorkers moving to the suburbs. He called the phenomenon a plague and said those who stayed in the neighborhood would be blessed. His flock remained.

    Leshes, Cohen and others also say that police are not as present in the neighborhood as they once were, leading to a culture of permissiveness for would-be assailants.

    “We’re seeing that the police department has taken a new approach to policing that is much more hands-off,” Cohen said. “I hear from the cops that they feel that there is a little bit of a sense of lawlessness.”

    On Monday, 13 members of Congress from the New York City area released a letter urging the NYPD to do more to combat anti-Semitism and increase crime reporting rates, such as publishing the city’s hate crime statistics in Yiddish. The letter also asked the NYPD to disclose how often its hate crime unit meets with local community leaders, and how much the department spends.

    Residents are also frustrated with the city for putting more shelters for people experiencing homelessness in Crown Heights, Leshes said. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has come under fire in recent years for clustering homeless shelters in central Brooklyn and the Bronx.

    However, Jewish community leaders like Cohen are cautious about “explaining away” the anti-Semitic nature of the attacks, worrying that it could detract from the severity of the crime.

    “There’s never an excuse for anti-Semitism,” said Yaacov Behrman, a local activist who directs a community drug use prevention program. “But there’s a reason it’s growing.”

    What some non-Jewish residents miss is that the issues the assailants may be responding to are things the Jewish community is struggling to deal with as well.

    Imani Keith Henry, the executive director of Equality For Flatbush, a not-for-profit that organizes tenants in Brooklyn, said that while many notorious landlords in Crown Heights are Jewish, it’s important to remember that gentrification also impacts poor Jews.

    Turner, the hat salesman, said that his parents are finding it increasingly difficult to pay the rent on their apartment, which is not rent-controlled or -stabilized.

    “We’re thinking, okay, how are we gonna live here?” he said. “I don’t think people realize that we all have the same concern.”

    To stop the attacks, community leaders say they are hoping to see more police patrols. Many of them were meeting Tuesday with the commanding officer of the precinct that covers the southern portion of Crown Heights, said the head of governmental affairs for the Crown Heights Community Jewish Council, Chanina Sperlin.

    “I always tell them, they have to put a police officer on every corner,” Sperlin said. “You have to make sure the residents are safe.”

    Cohen said that he also wants to know if there is some central source of motivation for these attacks.

    “One of the things we need to do is find out if there’s a conversation that we don’t know about, either online or in person, that is focusing on Jews,” he said.

    But all are hoping that residents and observers avoid over-simplifying the attacks — and prevent the neighborhood from devolving into the kind of inter-communal enmity that characterized the atmosphere in the early 1990s.

    “It comes from a deeper place than: black, Jew,” Turner said.

    Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at feldman@forward.com or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 1, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Gentrification happens in all societies, including Guyana.
    But I don’t want to go off on a tangent so will stick to NY and surroundings.

    Gentrification is a red herring for the Thomas attack in the Rabbi’s house and aborted attacks at the Jewish temple.
    Nowhere has any of the apologists on this thread mentioned religion and racism. As well there is a copy-cat element.

    Taking the latter first, unthinking (not using intellect) people copy, like flock, what others do which gets them notoriety but in the news. This is one reason why we would see a rash of school shootings. Jews are a historically persecuted people, with a stigma attributed to them, so the weak intellect people (sheep and racists) in turn persecute the Jewish person. Thomas may be mentally unstable but that does not explain why was he looking into why ‘Hitler hated the Jews’. Likely, he was looking for a justification or rationale to galvanize his intended attack.

    Now to Racism and Religion.
    Haaretz Dec 12, had this article: One of the Jersey City Shooters [Dec 10 on a Jersey City market] Was a Black Hebrew Israelite. Here’s What You Need to Know About the Movement
    The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies some Black Hebrew Israelites as a hate group, naming one branch in particular, the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ. A 2008 report from the center warned that extremism within the movement was on the rise.
    “Although most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the Hebrew Israelite movement whose adherents believe that Jews are devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery,” the SPLC said.
    ………………………
    NJ.com tell us: (some excerpts) The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League both consider the Hebrew Israelite movement a hate group.
    The movement dates to the 1970s, though some sects claim the roots of their beliefs stretch back as far as the 19th century, according to Oren Segal, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.

    Although these sects often have differing tenets, Segal said the core of the movement is that black people are the true children of Israel and Jews are imposters.

    “They reject Christianity, Islam, Judaism and [claim] that the true Jews are black,” he said. “And that the current ‘so-called Jews’ are liars and have stolen that religion from the true Jews of the world.”

    Segal stressed that the Hebrew Israelite movement is fragmented into various sects across the country and around the world.
    “There are many different sects which refer to themselves with the name Black Hebrew Israelites. It’s not a monolithic group,” he said. “Not all are extremists or outspoken anti-Semites or racists.”

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than half of the 18 hate groups operating in New Jersey in 2018 were extremist black supremacist groups like the Hebrew Israelite movement.
    Segal said people who have encountered Hebrew Israelites likely did so in a public place like Manhattan’s Times Square or Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where street preachers of the movement have been known to use inflammatory speech to try to provoke confrontations with passersby

    The Jersey Journal’s Ron Zeitlinger contributed to this story.
    ………………….
    VNM

    • Trevor  On January 1, 2020 at 9:41 pm

      So it’s okay for white racists to harass non-whites in the gentrifying areas to force them out, but suddenly when one former vet with PTSD takes that as a form of warfare and acts out violently (as possibly in Thomas’s case), non-whites, more specifically African-Americans, are the bad ones?

      If I can post screenshots, I can show you how mixed race Indo-Guyanese are viewed as Arabs in Toronto, Florida and parts of Chicago, and a few were harassed by middle-aged white men who did the following:

      1) Middle Aged white supremacist supporter in Toronto Confront a mixed race Euro-Indian Guyanese male and shouted “Yamma Yamma Alluha Ackbar!” and tried to provoke a fight. The man was later identified as a member of a neo-Nazi group who hates Muslims.

      2) Trinidad man and his father were at a beach in Ft. Lauderdale and a group of white men and their gfs were staring at them. The ladies covered their bodies, packed their belongings and eventually left.

      3) Guyanese male (20s) leaves public housing in Toronto, and a white middle aged man shouts “Fuck You!” to his face and tries to provoke a fight. The Guyanese male claimed that it was because he dressed in his “teenage clothes” and he was walking in a gentrifying area.

      While none of these young men reacted, it isn’t surprising that some people might take matters into their own hands with this gentrification and racism.

      What would Thomas do if he and his mother are evicted? Stay at Aunty’s already crowded basement apartment and get evicted for extra tenants?

      What about now in freezing weather? Circumstances can push people to do extreme acts, like Thomas.

  • Trevor  On January 1, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Veda if half-white Indo-Guyanese are harassed in Toronto of all places for looking like an Arab or Muslim refugee, how are you treated in Toronto? Do middle age racists try to provoke a fight and then claim that the Muslims are doing the bad acts if the victim responds rightfully, whether it be with fists, steel toe boots, a crowbar or a gun?

    Why is only the White man allowed to shoot up mosques, Synagogues, African-American churches and temples, but the victims can’t even react with similar force?

    It looks like if the Hebrew Israelite are the new Muslim scapegoats of the 2020s.

  • Trevor  On January 1, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Veda if you’re referring to those Hebrew Israelites who were gunned down by police for confronting Jewish people inside a restaurant, there is no proof that Thomas was a member of that group.

    The Hebrew Israelites are being used as the new American Taliban to justify the clamping down of resistance against gentrification, i.e., the nonwhites will be forced to shut up and will be banned from protesting in public under the cause of stopping inflammatory speech.

    Where will the Caribbean immigrants, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Haitians, African-Americans and other poor minority groups go if they are displaced? Do you expect them to crawl in a hole and die?

    Gentrification is VIOLENCE against the immigrant and working poor non-white classes in America. Forcing people from their homes to build majestic 80 storey high glass towers!

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 1, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Mr Wright: Re. “Why did he specifically target the Orthodox Jewish community, and not engage himself in a typical mass-knifing outburst?”

    In fact, 1) he arrived late at the Rabbi’s home where most of the congregation had left;
    2) after the slashing/stabbing with what appeared to be a sword or machete of most of the remaining people and one congregant threw some object at him and escaped after Thomas told him he will get this man later, Thomas then attempted to go into the synagogue next door/close by and they locked the door on him,

    Otherwise there would have mass killings. The man who threw the object at him was able to get his lic plate # as he left without achieving his full aim. This man notified the police and was caught later.

    All this was told to several TV stations in USA and Canada as Breaking News. I saw some of the interviews.

    Just google the attack; I expect the interview are still online.

    VNM.

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 2, 2020 at 3:09 am

    Well, Neville Thomas called to chat with me about this posting ….

    And mentioned that he was at the Guyana Pot Luck Party!

    He also wished me a Happy New Year!

  • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Veda, you haven’t responded to my question.

    Your silence speaks volumes in any case. You only appear to talk when 1) claiming that we victimised Indo-Guyanese or 2) to reinforce the views that we are criminals and victimisers.

    Have you ever been treated like a refugee while living in Toronto? I’ve given a few examples of half-Indo, half-White or half-Afro Guyanese who were accosted for being perceived as Muslim or African refugees.

    It appears to me that it’s okay for whites to harass Indo-Guyanese, because India is a country which worships whitehood.

    Look at Poland for instance: Turban-wearing Sikhs and Jains get murdered in hate crimes, and the police claim that it’s a suicide. There was that infamous story regarding a Toronto Sikh who “committed suicide” the day he landed at Lodz, and how an “eyewitness” saw him jump several stories and when he landed on the ground, he told her that “he committed suicide” as if it were a Bollywood movie.

    There are tensions in NYC because of racism and gentification, and it’s no surprise to me if the displaced feel like fighting back, because they have nothing to lose really if they are homeless and in -20C weather where I’ve heard that people lose their limbs from frostbite.

    However, Thomas was misguided and might have attacked the wrong group.

  • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 10:43 am

    1) Middle Aged white supremacist supporter in Toronto Confront a mixed race Euro-Indian Guyanese male and shouted “Yamma Yamma Alluha Ackbar!” and tried to provoke a fight. The man was later identified as a member of a neo-Nazi group who hates Muslims.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    My Canadian friend saw this post and told me this via WhatsApp:

    To paraphrase so he doesn’t get identified:

    The “Yama Yama Man” who accosted me at (Don Mills area) looks familiar to a Canadian Heritage Front white nationalist group who harassed the CEO of Paramount Fine Foods and accused the owners of Paramount & Soufi’s Fine Foods of harboring terrorism—complete lies.

    At this same intersection where the “Yama Yama Man” yelled slurs at me was racist graffitti which called for the genocide of “Kill All N**ers” which was scribbled across that (sidewalk rail) many times. When someone painted over the “N-word”, they wrote “black people”, still a call for genocide.

    This is in the same area where I was accosted. This area is also a starting place for immigrants, but rents have started to rise dramatically, and is almost double than what is was in 2014.

    To send my (last text comment), it isn’t a co-incidence that with the influx of bigots in the community, the racist graffitti, and also the “Yama Yama” man and also the high rents are happening in this immigrant community. If I didn’t have a family, and if it weren’t for the fact that I would be labelled a “Muslim” and have Guyana’s name tarnished, I would have used my steel toe boots and kicked that “Yama Yama” man’s head down to a pulp, but I didn’t because I didn’t want any trouble with the Muslim or Guyanese community being blamed”.

    • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 11:03 am

      He also says:

      This is not the only time I’ve experienced or witnessed “hate crimes” in this ‘multi-cultural’ city of Toronto.

      I’ve seen a Punjabi student pounced upon by a white man in his 50s while he was walking to (a college). I gave an angry look at the man and he backed off, but I was attending for a test and really wanted to lash that man head with a piece of wood, but I would stick out like a sore thumb and these passive South-Asians wouldn’t join in on the “fun” compared to the Arabs and African-descendants.

      While walking in a heavily Polish and Lithuanian area in (Royal York district of Toronto), a “Slavic” looking man on a bicycle was riding on the sidewalk and he kept on turning into my direction, riding past me, and then turning again. I was suspecting that this Polish f**ker was trying to start s***, and my guesses were trie, because the last time he turned around, he mumbled in a thick Russian or Polish accent “you should f***ing watch where you are going”, though it’s illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk.

      Man, I really wanted to throw some bricks at that f**ker and f**k up his bike, but I had a doctor’s appointment and told (doctor) what happened, and (doctor) sent me to a peer that wasn’t in that area.

      The only thing which stopped me from throwing a brick into a Polish store or writing anti-Polish graffiti was that a teenage Polish girl smiled at me (while I was on my way a X subway station), and it was like she had a crush on me. I abandoned any plans of throwing a brick into a Polish shop and went home, never to go back to that area again.

      (My name), you should be glad that you’re in Guyana. Lots of oil and no stinking Polish Jew-beater is there to harass you!

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 2, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Trevor: I won’t answer irrelevant matters to this issue of attack on Jews.
    VNM

    • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      What about the testimonies from mixed-race Indo-Guyanese living in Canada and Florida?

  • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Why do random white bigots assault nonwhite men who are waiting for the bus?
    https://globalnews.ca/news/6355230/random-bus-stop-attack-calgary/

    But if the nonwhite man punched in response, the white nationalists would storm into a mosque or temple and commit hate genocide.

    How do you Guyanese who have ill-feelings towards us live in such countries where the whites view you as Arab refugees and “those Islamists”?

    Before any Guyanese should think of disparaging Thomas based on his ethnicity, remind yourself that the Manager who forces Indo-Guyanese women to submit to his perverted desires in Queens, or the white racist who provokes fights to Euro-Indian Guyanese in Toronto, those bigots are not your friends.

    One thing we Guyanese don’t have to fear is dying in the cold, or being murdered in a church or masjid because of the Polish nationalist and his anti-migrant campaign.

    Do you even know what the bigots from Poland think of “brown people” regardless if they are from the most peaceful part of India, or the Caribbean descendants living in the islands or Latin America? The bigoted Polish think you are a Muslim refugee while they sing their polanksi garbage music and beat Judas dolls every Easter. Uncivilised people who perceive Indo-Caribbeans as Muslim refugees.

  • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    My friend wrote via WhatsApp:

    “The rise in Jew hating corresponds to the rise in hate crimes in Canada, especially against anyone who is assumed to be a “Muslim”, including myself, a Guyanese with Brahmin and Northern European heritage. It offends me that the racists are targeting everyone who isn’t white, even if they have traces of white, such as European Jews”.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 2, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    PTSD? Gentrification? Blah, Blah, Blah! Why not the most obvious?

    NY Times (one hour ago)

    Suspect in Anti-Semitic Rampage in Monsey Is Eyed in Earlier Attack

    In the attack in November, a Hasidic Jewish man was stabbed and slashed as he walked to synagogue in a New York suburb [at dark 5:49 am].

    Jan. 2, 2020 Updated 8:37 p.m. ET
    • The police are actively exploring whether a man accused of storming into a Hasidic rabbi’s home and stabbing five people at a Hanukkah celebration last week in a New York City suburb was also involved in another stabbing near a synagogue a month earlier, officials said on Thursday.
    Chief Brad Weidel of the Ramapo Police Department, which is overseeing both investigations, said that detectives were looking at possible links between the two attacks but that the man, Grafton E. Thomas, was not yet a suspect in the November one. Both attacks occurred in Monsey, N.Y., located about 30 miles northwest of New York City.

    Within days of the chilling stabbing in November, when an Orthodox Jewish man was attacked as he walked to his synagogue, officers had interviewed Mr. Thomas, according to Chief Weidel. But investigators, who had tied Mr. Thomas to a vehicle similar to the one they believed might have been used, did not have evidence to directly connect him to the attack.

    After Mr. Thomas, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., was arrested last Saturday and charged with being responsible for a bloody rampage that horrified people across the country, a detective recognized his name from the earlier investigation and decided to re-examine the possibility that he had been involved.
    ……………………………
    I’m curious, Trevor:
    You said you are a Guyana civil servant. How come you have so much time to read and post reams and reams at all times of the day? Is this what a Guyana civil servant does these days?
    VNM

    • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 10:16 pm

      Pot calling the kettle black!

      I only post before work, during lunch, during my 30 mins breaks and early on Fridays because I work until 3pm.

      Does Canada have lunch hours and early Fridays, or do Guyanese there work like daag and end up being accosted at the bus stop by the Polish Canadian white nationalist?

      I’m telling you Sir, you are beginning to be like what my friend had described of those Canadian immigrants from India, Sri Lanka and those overpopulated hell holes—docile and submissive to white racists, but racist towards Blacks.

      How dare you assume that I’m slacking off my job when I post only at certain hours of the day?

      I have a feeling that yuh shame face to say that the Polish white nationalist harassed you and your family in Toronto. Meanwhile, you come on here posting comments disparaging me and my fellow brothers.

      • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 10:24 pm

        Moderator has deleted this entry.
        Please stop the personal attacks.
        Thank you.

  • Trevor  On January 2, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Why is Mr. Thomas being used as a Poster Boy for the Hebrew Israelites when he only consumed content that was allegedly found on his computer? His mom has stated that he spent most of his adult life in psychiatric care and was a loner.

    If I read an LGBT magazine for research, does that make me gay?

    The Hebrew Israelites are the new Taliban of the 2020s. Just watch the news!

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 3, 2020 at 10:41 am

    I mentioned in the tangential issue of names indicating possible origins, about the names Solomon and Suliman. We just learned that a variant is Soliemani, the Iranian general, whom the USA just killed.
    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 3, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Re. Trevor defends Thomas: “If I read an LGBT magazine for research, does that make me gay?”
    Depends on how many time you search, Trevor.

    Washington Post, Dec. 31, 2019 at 7:49 a.m. EST
    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — More than a month before he charged into Hanukkah celebrations with a machete, prosecutors say, Grafton Thomas used his cellphone to search the Internet: “Why did Hitler hate the Jews.”
    That query — entered three more times over the following weeks — was just one red flag authorities found when they combed through Thomas’s belongings, officials said. There were more online searches, for temples “near me.” There were journals with the words “Nazi Culture” on the same page as a swastika and a Star of David.
    ………………..
    VNM

  • Clyde Duncan  On January 4, 2020 at 3:54 am

    Hanukkah Stabbing Suspect Left Boot Camp After Failing Drug Test

    By Richard Sisk | Military.com

    The suspect in the Hanukkah stabbings at a rabbi’s home north of New York City Dec. 28 was kicked out of Marine boot camp after traces of marijuana were found in his system, his lawyer said Thursday.

    GRAFTON THOMAS, WHO IS FACING STATE AND FEDERAL CHARGES IN THE ATTACKS, had also broken his wrist in training, defense lawyer Michael Sussman said in a conference call with reporters.

    Sussman said he had reviewed documentation showing that Thomas left for recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, in November 2002 after having passed “MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS” to become a Marine.

    Between 60 and 90 days after his arrival at Parris Island, Thomas was sent home with a broken wrist.

    “His mother was advised that a trace of marijuana was found in his system,” Sussman said. “That’s the only information we have about the nature” of his leaving the Marines.

    THOMAS’ MOTHER, KIM THOMAS, A REGISTERED NURSE WHO WORKS AT A BRONX HOSPITAL, SAID HER SON WAS LOOKING FOR A PURPOSE IN LIFE AFTER GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL IN 2001 AND DECIDED ON THE MARINES.

    “It was early after we moved up here” to Rockland County north of the city and “he was trying to figure out which direction he wanted to go with his life,” she said.
    Her son “met friends who were also thinking of being in the military and they spent time, you know, talking, and he decided he was going to go” join the Marines, she said.

    Military officials told the Associated Press Tuesday that Thomas was separated from the service on grounds of “FRAUDULENT ENLISTMENT”, which could mean that he made false statements in the recruiting process.

    Capt. Karoline Foote, a Marine spokeswoman, said she was barred from giving details on Thomas’ separation. “Those specifics are administrative in nature and therefore information we are required to keep private,” Foote told the AP.

    THOMAS, 37, OF GREENWOOD LAKE, N.Y., WAS CHARGED IN ROCKLAND COUNTY SUNDAY WITH FIVE COUNTS OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AND ONE OF ROBBERY. HE IS ALSO FACING FEDERAL HATE CRIMES CHARGES.

    The criminal complaint against him alleges that he entered the home of a rabbi in Monsey, New York, Saturday night and used an 18-inch machete to stab and slash five Hasidic Jewish men.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the attack in Monsey was the 13th anti-Semitic incident in three weeks in New York state, and called it an act of “DOMESTIC TERRORISM”.

    Earlier in December, four people were shot and killed in what officials called an anti-Semitic attack at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, across the Hudson from Manhattan.

    In the conference call, lawyer Sussman said his client was a disturbed individual who had gone off his antipsychotic medications. He said Thomas was diagnosed as a “PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIC” in being granted Social Security disability payments.

    © Copyright 2020 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 4, 2020 at 11:51 am

    NBCNEWS.Com:

    “Hanukkah stabbing suspect indicted on six charges of attempted murder

    Grafton Thomas, 37, is also being investigated for another earlier stabbing on Nov. 30, police said.

    Defense lawyer Michael Sussman insists his client is not anti-Semitic, but suffers from mental illness.”

    Comments:

    Lawyer makes no defence of “Gentrification”

    Secondly, if he was psychotic, as a another report claims his defence makes, and if the Nov 30 attack is also his, does psychosis defence still holds between the two 6 wks apart attacks on Orthodox Jews?

    VNM

    • Trevor  On January 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm

      Is it because Thomas is Black that you question his “paranoid schizophrenia” diagnoses?

      If it were Alexandre Bissoonette from Quebec, Canada shooting up a temple, would anyone believe that he was a racist mass murderer, or some poor innocent white bwoy who was suffering from anxiety?

  • Trevor  On January 4, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Orthodox Jewish man attacked on Brooklyn street in another anti-Semitic assault

    By Craig McCarthy and Aaron Feis

    December 31, 2019 | 1:38pm | Updated

    https://nypost.com/2019/12/31/orthodox-jewish-man-attacked-on-brooklyn-street-in-another-anti-semitic-assault/?utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

  • Trevor  On January 4, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    There does seem that there be tensions between African-Americans, Latinos and Caribbean immigrants against the Jewish people in NYC, but why?

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 4, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    “There does seem that there be tensions between African-Americans, Latinos and Caribbean immigrants against the Jewish people in NYC, but why?”

    Add White Christians-supremacists.

    You don’t seem to get it !

    Most of the people you mention are Christians.

    Jews don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah

    Jews are also said to have betrayed Jesus.

    They dress differently.

    They are then seen as traitorous to God; with alien beliefs, practices and social dress code (they way you and your ilk see Indians, Hindus in particular)

    Now you Know.

    VNM

    • Trevor  On January 4, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      Jews are not Hindus.

      And I’m not prejudiced against Indians. Look at what I posted recently. Stories of racism in the ABC countries:

      “If I can post screenshots, I can show you how mixed race Indo-Guyanese are viewed as Arabs in Toronto, Florida and parts of Chicago, and a few were harassed by middle-aged white men who did the following:

      1) Middle Aged white supremacist supporter in Toronto Confront a mixed race Euro-Indian Guyanese male and shouted “Yamma Yamma Alluha Ackbar!” and tried to provoke a fight. The man was later identified as a member of a neo-Nazi group who hates Muslims.

      2) Trinidad man and his father were at a beach in Ft. Lauderdale and a group of white men and their gfs were staring at them. The ladies covered their bodies, packed their belongings and eventually left.

      3) Guyanese male (20s) leaves public housing in Toronto, and a white middle aged man shouts “Fuck You!” to his face and tries to provoke a fight. The Guyanese male claimed that it was because he dressed in his “teenage clothes” and he was walking in a gentrifying area.”

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 5, 2020 at 12:15 am

    You have a conveniently short memory after you regularly bundled with others and Raymond Chickerie to berate India/Indian/Hindu people and claiming they are from the gutters, etc.

    But lets get off the tangent and stay with the Thomas – Jews issue.
    VNM

    • Trevor  On January 5, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      Mass-stabbings against Indo-Guyanese are non-existent in Guyana. We don’t have that problem here.

      Therefore, Thomas is not racist, but has been affected by elements of income inequality, racism, poverty, mental illness, gentrification and tensions of social unrest in NYC.

      No one wakes up one morning to go on mass stabbing rampages. I’m certain that Thomas was accosted on the street by the “Yamma Yamma Akbar” racist, or he was evicted from his rental by a Jewish landlord, and he lashed out because he has PTSD and skitzophrenia.

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