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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

WATCH: Massachusetts School Board Member Calls Jew ‘Kike’ on Live TV

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Open season on Jews continues.

In case it wasn’t clear, my tweet is dripping with sarcasm. Almost every time antisemitism appears and I post about it, I am inundated with tweets and comments suggesting criticism of Israel is not antisemitism. Seriously.

But back to the incident. What makes it even worse is after Hoey made the comment, the program continued for another 85 minutes without any guests condemning the slur.

Here’s more on the incident.

Lowell Mayor John Leahy has demanded the resignation of School Committee member Robert Hoey Jr. after Hoey appeared on a live Cable TV program on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24, and referred to a former administrator at the Lowell Public Schools as a “kike.”

Hoey, who hosts the morning show “City Life” on Lowell Telecommunications Corporation cable access Channel 8, made the statement on the live program at around 6:35 a.m. while discussing school personnel.

Hoey was first elected to the Lowell School Committee in 2015, and earns $12,000 annually in his position. Hoey could not be reached for comment.

This is not Hoey’s first public comment that has riled Jews. In 2018, the Lowell Sun reported that Hoey had called a Lowell radio talk show that was discussing North Middlesex Registry of Deeds Richard Howe Jr. On the show, Hoey said Howe runs the operation like “Hitler.”

Hours after Hoey’s comments were broadcast, Leahy requested that the Lowell City Council and the School Committee hold a joint meeting to demand the immediate resignation of Hoey “for offensive conduct that shocks the conscience.”

“Earlier today, a member of the Lowell School Committee, Robert Hoey, used an offensive and repulsive racial slur on a televised morning show. As a result, I am calling Lowell’s elected officials to join me in demanding the immediate resignation of Robert Hoey as a member of the Lowell School Committee,” Leahy said in a statement. “Throughout this academic year, this School Committee has focused on issues of equity and racial equality in our schools and in our community. To fully represent the interest and diversity of our students and our community, we must not only join together in rejecting this language, but continue working towards that more perfect union.”

Dr. Joel D. Boyd, Superintendent of Lowell Schools, has since issued the following statement:

Dear Lowell Public Schools Students, Families and Staff,

As many of you are aware, during a live appearance on the “City Life” television show Wednesday morning, Robert Hoey, one of our School Committee members, used a deeply offensive, antisemitic slur in referring to the District’s former Chief Financial Officer.

As your superintendent, I want to be clear that there is no place in our community – whether in the boardroom, on television, or in the classroom – for antisemitism, racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, or any other form of bias-based conduct. The word used by Committee Member Hoey on City Life was abhorrent and unacceptable in any setting.

As a Jewish man, like many members of our Jewish community in Lowell and beyond, yesterday’s incident was deeply hurtful and resurfaced past personal experiences with bigotry. Growing up, I witnessed my mother targeted with the same slur Committee Member Hoey used, and while I was too small to understand its meaning, I could see the profound pain in my mother’s face. Mr. Hoey’s remark was also damaging to members of other communities who have been similarly targeted. I want to thank the many members of our community who have spoken up and reached out to offer their support.

I want to reassure our students, families and staff that Committee Member Hoey’s words yesterday do not reflect the environments we foster within our classrooms, schools or District. Since 2019, we have been continuously working to strengthen our policies and practices on non-discrimination, anti-harassment and anti-racism in the effort to create safe and welcoming learning environments. Our fundamental commitments to equity are codified within our strategic plan and underpin every action we take as an organization.

I spoke with Committee Member Hoey one-on-one this morning. I expect he will personally address his actions and actively engage in upcoming anti-racism and anti-bias training that is being coordinated by our Office of Educational Equity and Community Empowerment. I trust in his commitment to never use a slur of any kind again, publicly or privately. Bigotry can never be tolerated or normalized.

As administrators, educators, employees, or elected officials, we are role models for the students we serve. As leaders, we are counted on to conduct ourselves professionally, with decency and dignity – our children deserve nothing less.

Sounds like Hoey’s resignation is not being demanded.



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