Friday, June 02, 2006

Abrams, like Silverman, accuses critics of racism

Like County Council member Steve Silverman, Montgomery County Board of Education member Stephen N. Abrams can't discuss issues on their merits - so he stoops to accuse his critics of being a bunch of bigots.

Silverman and Abrams say - in print - that Seven Locks-area residents are racists because they don't want the county to tear down the thriving neighborhood public school and turn it into another county development project.

Silverman did it in a Washington Post interview last year.

Abrams did it in his June 1 Washington Post guest column.

Abrams accuses Seven Locks resident Jay M. Weinstein, who had written an earlier guest column in the Post, of conducting "the kind of advocacy that was used to further an outcome promoted by divergent elements to . . . keep out 'undesirable lower-income people' by blocking the possibility of having affordable housing built on the Seven Locks site. . . ."

Apart from being a direct contradiction with MCPS officials' explicit denials (they repeatedly denied to the Seven Locks PTA that the school board had a housing project in mind for the schoolyard) Abrams sets up a phony argument.

This blogger is one of those "undesirable" people - a not-especially-well-paid educator and father of a large Hispanic family that includes immigrants from Latin America - whom Abrams claims Weinstein and others want to keep out of their neighborhood.

In fact, if this blogger worked only one job instead of two-and-a-half, he would be eligible for the subsidized housing project the school board and Doug Duncan had stealthily planned for Seven Locks. (And if he worked more and blogged less, he would have earned enough to buy a shiny new Cadillac just like Steve Abrams has.) Furthermore, we have always been welcome at the Weinstein home, and no one in our diverse and multicultural neighborhood has never made us feel "undesirable."

Only the lowest of politicians - usually with a hidden agenda - would groundlessly trash his critics as a bunch of racists. But Steve Silverman and Steve Abrams are accustomed to getting their way by bullying people. They've gotten away with it until now.