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Morning Spew

Halal Cart Harasser Sentenced to Go to Queens

Former Obama staffer Stuart Seldowitz will have to do six months of anti-bias counseling. Plus, more links for your Thursday.

9:34 AM EST on January 18, 2024

(Hell Gate)

You might remember Stuart Seldowitz, the former Obama staffer who was caught on video at the end of last year harassing a halal cart vendor on the Upper East Side and calling for the murder of (even more) Palestinian children. At the time, Seldowitz justified his extremely racist rant to City & State by saying he got "caught in the heat of the moment." (Seldowitz had in fact been harassing the vendor for several weeks by that point.) After a very public outcry that led to Seldowitz's identification, he was arrested and charged with a hate crime.

Seldowitz, who has said he worked for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs for a time and then as the foreign affairs chair at the lobbying firm Gotham Government Relations, which has since disavowed him, also told City & State he's not "an Islamophobic guy." 

Well, now Seldowitz has a chance to prove that. On Wednesday, he agreed to attend a six-month "anti-bias program" at Queens Counseling for Change in exchange for prosecutors dropping the hate crime charges against him. He is also barred from any future contact with the vendor he harassed. 

As satisfying as it might be to see Seldowitz face some real consequences for his vile behavior, it's pretty obvious by now that hate crime prosecutions don't actually do what their proponents say they will do. Seldowitz can eat shit, but this is probably how our criminal legal system should work, I guess. We look forward to Seldowitz going to Queens to learn why saying things like 'Did you rape your daughter like Muhammad did?' is not an appropriate thing to say to a total stranger.

These links are more appropriate, we think:

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