CUNY Ceremony Disrupted By Trustee Shouting Match

City Councilman Charles Barron

City Councilman Charles Barron

Today was a special day for CUNY, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials came to the Borough of Manhattan Community College to celebrate the rebuilding of their Fiterman Hall, which was badly damaged on September 11, 2001.

However, during the first part, City Councilman Charles Barron and CUNY Trustee Jeffery Wiesenfeld has a shouting match, yelling “You shut up!” “You’re a disgrace!” and “You’re a sickening racist!”

The word is that Councilman Barron had to sit in the audience and felt disrespected that he wasn’t originally seated at the front with the other officials. He was also upset that Mayor Bloomberg did not mention CUNY students or the City Council at all during his speech.

The Daily News offers this exchange between Barron and Wiesenfeld, which started after Barron expressed his unhappiness:

This prompted CUNY trustee Wiesenfeld to shout down Barron from his seat in the front row. “You’re a disgrace!” Wiesenfeld shouted. Barron then yelled back, “You just be quiet. Ain’t nobody talking to you. Whether you like it or not, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. You sit there. You shut up!”

Wiesenfeld, a former staffer for Mayor Ed Koch and Sen. Al D’Amato, was a senior aide to Governor Pataki, who appointed him to the CUNY board.

A principal with the firm of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Wiesenfeld was confirmed by the state Senate in 1999 despite allegations that he referred to blacks as “savages” and Hasidic Jews as “thieves.”

Wiesenfeld later told the News, “This individual has no civility. He has no personal decency. All of us can have a persecution complex. My parents, my wife’s parents were in concentration camps, I’m sure his ancestors were subject to slavery, but that is no excuse for his ill-fitting conduct in public, the way he deals with other public officials.” And Barron said Wiesenfeld was “a right- wing, racist, ignorant fool,” who “should not be sitting on the board of trustees of CUNY.”

Check out the video here.

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