After members of North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco’s re-election ticket exposed the criminal record of Board of Education candidate Jose Canonico, who was endorsed by Larry Wainstein last week, the Wainstein camp is firing back by claiming that old Facebook posts depict Sam Jaafar – a BOE candidate endorsed by Sacco - as a racist.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Screenshots taken of posts on Jaafar’s Facebook page show at least two instances where he made off-color jokes involving someone’s race.
One post from December 26, 2013, Jaafar made a post mocking Indian accents (some readers may find this post offensive).
The second post in question, from August 2, 2014, where Jaafar makes a remark about needing to “get away from” Mexicans in North Bergen before taking a vacation to Cancun.
Of course, Cancun is in Mexico, so it can easily be argued that there were no ill intentions behind this post.
Furthermore, the Wainstein camp also took exception to a joke involving a sexual relationship between a student and a teacher posted on Jaafar’s Facebook page on August 20, 2014.
Due to the explicit sexual nature of the joke, it will not be reposted in this story, but it can be read here.
Luis Gutierrez, Wainstein’s campaign manager, called the earlier posts “true racism affecting this town[ship] in offensive and racially charged attacks on the Hispanic and Indian community,” also calling the student-teacher joke “offensive.”
Juan “JP” Escobar, a campaign spokesman for Sacco, told Hudson County View this was Wainstein’s attempt to create a “smokescreen” around Canonico’s criminal history.
“There is absolutely nothing racist in these Facebook posts whatsoever, they are simply politically-incorrect jokes that were intended to be shared among Mr. Jaafar’s friends and not a wider audience,” Escobar said “At the time they were posted, Sam was not a candidate for office and he regrets if anyone is offended by their content.”
“This pales in comparison to the real issue in this race, which is Larry Wainstein’s support of a convicted criminal for the board in Jose Canonico, a man who assaulted a North Bergen police officer, stole a car, spent six months in jail and has numerous arrests, the most recent being in 2006.”
“This is nothing but a smokescreen to attempt to take the focus off of Wainstein’s shameful endorsement of criminal Jose Canonico.”