No Saint In The City

When the video first appeared, I was sure it had to be a tourist. By tourist, I meant either an actual tourist or some out-of-town businessman, someone who wasn’t a New Yorker. That’s because I couldn’t fathom any New Yorker noticing, lest being bothered, by the fact that Spanish was being spoken in restaurant.

And this guy wasn’t merely bothered, but lashed out.

A Midtown lawyer was caught on video yelling racist comments at Spanish-speaking restaurant workers — and threatening to call immigration officers to have them “kicked out of my country.”

The nearly minute-long viral clip picks up with the unhinged man (right) railing, ­“Every person I listen to — he spoke [Spanish], he spoke it, she’s speaking it — it’s America!”

As it turned out, not only wasn’t it a tourist, but it was a lawyer. A Manhattan lawyer according to the font of such matters, Shaun King.

Some of you might be inclined to point out the the NYSBA is just a voluntary membership group that has nothing to do with attorney discipline, but King knows stuff because he’s studied it really hard, so don’t lawyersplain him. Then again, it’s not as if he’s the first passionate defender of the faith to make that flagrant mistake.

As for Schlossberg, assuming it is Schlossberg, this absurd rant has no doubt proven devastating to his practice, as well it should. The shame that will naturally rain down upon him is entirely his own fault, entirely of his own making. Much as it is inconceivable that anyone in New York, no less a lawyer, doesn’t appreciate that this city needs its Hispanic residents, couldn’t survive without them, he nonetheless let his prejudice come out. It was one inexcusable, godawful display, and he deserves every condemnation he’s gotten for what he did.

For those hearing a voice in their heads about illegals and MS-13 and Trump calling Latinos “animals,” keep it to yourself. What happened in this restaurant has absolutely nothing to do with any of these things. Just some nice folks in a restaurant speaking Spanish, as they are entirely allowed to do no matter what stupidity flows through your imagination.

But the omnipotent genius King immediately calls for his twitter followers to call the NYSBA to “look into [his] bigoted hate here and across NYC (?).” The one-eyed king has ruled: Off with his head. It must suck to be the poor schmuck answering the phones at the NYSBA, forced to explain to his loyal subjects that no, they have nothing to do with such matters, only to be “informed” that if King says they do, then they must because King knows stuff.

And that’s just the start of it.

Whether this outrageous rant is sufficient reason to destroy a lawyer is fair question, but the blood lust of the mob must be sated, so why not destroy his clients as well? Would there be no voice of reason to stand up against the mob?

Despite Ken’s unimpeachable credibility, that didn’t assuage the mob.

Salt the earth beneath his home. Tar his progeny for three generations. Beat up his children, and their children, and his clients’ children. Would it shock anyone if Schlossberg was found murdered in Bryant Park? Would it shock anyone of the unduly passionate cried no tears because, well, he deserved it?

Schlossberg’s conduct was reprehensible. He deserves to be named. He deserves to be shamed. And he has been, and it will certainly have a huge impact on his practice, not to mention is life. I cry no tears for this, as he brought it entirely on himself. How, and whether, he can rehabilitate his reputation is unknown at this point, but that too is his problem.

But that’s not even remotely harsh enough for the mob.  They want him destroyed. They want his clients destroyed just to make sure he’s destroyed. Nothing short of the death penalty for Schlossberg, and everyone associated with Schlossberg, will suffice.

The forces of social justice aren’t really against the death penalty. They just want to change who gets executed. Aaron Schlossberg may be a disgrace, and he will have to bear that stigma, but he didn’t kill anyone. Yet the self-righteous mob demands his execution, because their hatred is special and right unlike the hatred of their adversaries.

The same cries for proportionality, for reasonableness, for empathy, that the mob demands for those for whom it favors it would deny to anyone else. Beware disgraceful people like Schlossberg. Beware the mob that wants to destroy anyone it hates.

23 thoughts on “No Saint In The City

  1. Corey

    The similarities between King/his ilk and the Jaccobins is terrifying at times. I’m just glad Madame Guillotine is no longer around.

      1. Corey

        Without a doubt, much like wanting to eat cake will make you a royalist swine… At least when they come for your head (and Ken’s of course) you’ll be in good company.

    1. Jim Majkowski

      Or Salem. Bill Deresiewicz wrote that “regimes of virtue tend to eat their children. Think of Salem. They tend to turn upon themselves, since everybody wants to be the holiest. … The ante is forever being upped…. Everyone is terrified of challenging ***, so it gets whatever it demands. But then, because it can, it thinks up new demands…

      “… There is always something new… that you aren’t supposed to say. And worst of all, you often don’t find out about it until after you have said it…

      “…is not about justice or creating a safe environment; it is about power.

      (emphases mine)

      1. Dan

        Well, after a little quality time with Google (which I no doubt should have done before posting), I’m finding references to Vermont having adopted it, but no other states. At least Schlossberg doesn’t have to worry about that.

  2. David

    I find it amusing that on his bio page on his website, he describes himself as being fluent in Spanish. I wonder how often he’ll have occasion to use that at work now.

  3. Marty

    Then again it is just Twitter. Haters gonna hate, idiots gonna idiot; retweeting just encourages the stupidity

    1. SHG Post author

      When twitter first began, I was sure it was worthless and would suffer a brutal death. I was, ahem, wrong. While many are slacktivists, busy liking and retwitting and nothing more, there are among the millions sufficient nutjobs who act upon the twits of their saviors. If someone had a few million followers, they can do a lot of damage even if only 1% get off the couch in the basement and do something.

  4. Carolyn Elefant

    Every time I start to yell at an employee for poor service at the DMV or a restaurant, I have visions of this same thing happening to me. While I agree that the response is disproportionate, what’s also unfortunate is that this guy can never even apologize for his outburst because people will just say that he’s sorry that he got caught.

    1. SHG Post author

      Somehow, I can’t see your complaining about a fly in your soup turning out the same way.

      He really doesn’t have a graceful exit here, but then, he made his bad as far as that goes. Or maybe he has no intention of apologizing, no recognition of how awful his behavior was, and will hook up with Crazy Joe. Either way, his rehab is his problem to figure out. There isn’t always an easy or palatable answer.

      1. B. McLeod

        Just as there are nutjobs wanting to destroy him, there will be other nutjobs who think he is great. The nutjobs in both camps fail to appreciate how they are marking themselves by their public comments, just as effectively as he did.

  5. losingtrader

    tl;didn’t watch.

    Actually, I was busy looking at the Post story to the right of the Scholssberg one, and definitely more interesting

    But of course, you CDL’s are used to poo-flinging stories

  6. Justin

    I don’t say this to be funny, but: is it possible Aaron Schlossberg is touched? Like, in the head?

    Liberals love to bemoan the lack of sympathy we as a society have for mental illness, but when faced with a possible example, they’re just as knee-jerk and judgmental as anybody.

  7. Joe

    Justin’s comment made me laugh. “is it possible Aaron Schlossberg is touched? Like, in the head?” Well he’s attorney isn’t he? (sarcasm intended)

  8. Pingback: Lose Your Temper, Lose Your Law Practice: The Real Rules Of Civility | ATL Small Firm Center

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