Bronx, NY – A video showing an African woman unleashing an angry tirade on an Orthodox Jewish man as the two stood near each other on a Bronx-bound IRT train has gone viral after being posted to Twitter, sparking a war of words on multiple social media platforms.
The nearly two minute long video shows an unidentified woman raging loudly at Brooklyn resident Yossi Wolfe at 8:53 AM on the 4 train.
According to Wolfe, the woman had just boarded the Lexington Avenue Express on May 24th along with a mother accompanied by her three children, and she scolded fellow passengers for not giving up their seats to the family.
When none of the passengers rose despite her requests, the woman continued berating them, saying that they would have gotten up if the family was Jewish.
Wolfe said he was standing nearby when the exchange took place, noting that all of the people who were sitting on the train were African Americans.
“After hearing that, I asked her to please not make any racist statements,” Wolfe told VIN News. “What ensued was her tirading me for what seemed like forever.”
Wolfe kept his composure during the discussion, quietly asking the woman not to refer to Jews as “you people” while being repeatedly shouted down and told that Judaism is a race and not a religion. Attempts by Wolfe to defuse the situation by asking the woman to calm down elicited only more outrage.
“No, I need to calm down now because I’m schooling your [obscenity],” the woman says. “You guys think you’re so [obscenity] smart, but guess what? I’m gonna teach you a lesson on this [obscenity] train today.”
During the outburst, the woman made reference to the Holocaust and criticized Jews for being unfair to African Americans.
“You treat us different in our community,” said the woman. “You won’t even rent to us. What the [obscenity] are you talking about?”
Telling the woman that she was “hateful” prompted further criticism of Wolfe, who continued his attempts to explain to the woman why he felt she was guilty of racism.
“I am not hateful,” said the woman. “Let me school you. No, did I say Jews are dirty? Did I say they stink? … And learn the difference between racism and prejudism.”
Eventually, Wolfe gave up trying to argue with his fellow passenger and, at the advice of an elderly African American woman on the train, put on his headphones for the duration of his trip, while the torrent of criticism continued.
“The lady continued yelling for a few more stops, but before she got off, she made sure to tell us that the reason she was in a bad mood was because her husband had just been arrested by the police,” said Wolfe.
The video was posted to Twitter by user @chrisfrench_ where it has been viewed 117,000 times and retweeted more than 1,000 times.
Most of the comments on the original tweet were largely in support of the woman, with Twitter user @escoszn_ tweeting “She’s right tho bro.
A lot of Jewish people treat black people like trash in their own neighborhoods. Acting like they don’t live just a few blocks down” and @Rae_Diamond commenting, “She is saying everything a New Yorker who is a black American has felt towards the Jewish community.”
The debate also raged on Instagram, where the video was viewed over 38,000 times on the Vos Iz Neias feed.
Amid heated comments and insults, Instagram user davidmzucker took the women to task saying, “When this loudmouth says YOUR people don’t rent to us she is being a total antisemite…attributing the bad deeds of a few to the entire group.
I’m sure she would not take kindly to similar assumptions about dark skinned peoples based on the negative actions of a few.”