Ben Akselrod is running for the State Assembly in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn lost his campaign treasurer earlier this week. The night before last, Akselrod was forced to release a lengthy statement. This has all the markings of a political scandal, but the candidate is insisting it’s nothing scandalous, and rather an innocent typo. Last week, thousands of residents of the Sheepshead Bay district received a mailer from the candidate, who is challenging the incumbent Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, that discussed the 50% increase in crime in the neighborhood. Or, as the mailer said, negrohood. Seriously. Negrohood.
While it’s true that both “neighbor” and the term “negro” share an “n,” a “e,” a “g,” and an “o,” it’s not the kind of the finger slip you’d expect from, say “your” versus “you’re.” Akselrod waited almost a week before releasing a statement calling the incident an “inadvertent error” and apologizing for “anyone who was offended by it,” but it’s pretty embarrassing no matter what. We can all take a valuable lesson from this: don’t piss off your copyeditor.