Political arenas are no strangers to battle, but like any civil discourse, an understanding remains that there are lines that should not be crossed. According to long-time Brooklyn officials, Jabari Brisport, a candidate in the hotly contested vacant Senate District 25 seat has most definitely overstepped.
City Council Majority Leader and Councilwoman Laurie A. Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant) convened a peaceful rally last night in front of her opponent’s apartment, in response to Brisport and about 200 people protesting outside her home about police budget cuts last Friday.
It was unconfirmed if Brisport was home at the time.
Cumbo said that Brisport came there with a predominantly White crowd and a bullhorn demanding that the city council defund the NYPD budget by $3 billion as opposed to the initial calls for $1 billion.
“You did that because you knew I was vulnerable,” said Cumbo. “You knew that you could do that because I was with a two-year-old. You did that because you thought that I was alone, but I came here today to let you know that I am not alone.”
Cumbo said that she doesn’t believe she is above being protested against, however, Brisport and his organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), didn’t show up at any of the other public events she was clearly at all week.
She said their tactics, intentionally showing up at her home, were inappropriate and aggressive.
Brisport, a public school teacher born and raised in Brooklyn, is relatively unknown in the political field, except for his defeat in the City Council District 35 race in 2017 against Cumbo when he ran on the Green Party line. The socialists he stands with now have received harsh criticisms from older generations of Brooklynites and people of color.
Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, and Park Slope), the retiring current senator in District 25, is openly backing Assemblymember Tremaine Wright to replace her in the upcoming elections. She was in attendance to show her support for Cumbo.
“Tomorrow is the beginning of our liberation one more time,” said Montgomery about the elections, “Every elected official at the state and the federal level are under attack. So this is not just a district problem. We have people, we don’t know where the money comes from, they’re not accountable to anybody, nobody in our community knows them. There’s millions of dollars [in nonprofit funding and district allocations] riding on this to supplant the political power across this city and across this nation.”
President of Brooklyn Chapter of the National Action Network and Minister Kirsten John Foy was so incensed by the actions of Brisport and his followers that he hurled racial slurs at him, like “coon” and the “n-word,” on the steps of Brisport’s apartment building.
Foy then went on to clarify that Brisport deserved to be called these names for disrespecting not only an elected official outside of accepted spaces, but a Black mother at home with her young child. He considered this action an unconscionable offense.
“They’re the reason Harriet [Tubman] carried a gun,” said Foy, “Because only someone with that character would bring a white lynch mob, and that’s what it was, a white lynch mob to a Black queen’s home to terrorize her and to terrorize her child.”
Cumbo said that the DSA is mostly comprised of white progressives who are not of or for the community, and they utilize individuals like Brisport to run for office to carry their agenda.
“Don’t sit home, don’t wait for the presidential, twiddling your thumbs, talking about ‘I can’t wait to get 45 [45th President Donald Trump] out. Uh-huh,” said Cumbo about voting in the primary elections today. “We got 45s running around all throughout Brooklyn. We got 45s running around Brooklyn with Black Lives Matter shirts on.”
Brisport could not be reached at post time.