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    Robert Moses

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    December 18, 1888 – July 29, 1981

    We have been accused, on occasion, of picking on people specifically because they are not Jews. Especially Jews who later converted, such as today's profile, Robert Moses. "If you ding someone for being Jewish, you're an anti-semite," these critics say, "so why is it OK to ding someone for not being Jewish?"

    So we want to make it abundantly clear: We are dinging Robert Moses because in his own hubris and ego he nearly destroyed one of the most magical places on earth: New York City.

    We're dinging Robert Moses, the "Master Builder" of New York from 1930-1950, because he used his powers as the de-facto King of the City to line his own pockets and promote his own pet projects and cutesy theories rather than actually attempt to improve people's lives.

    We're dinging Robert Moses for his bigoted construction policies that intentionally left minorities out of the new New York, especially blacks.

    We're dinging Robert Moses for destroying the Bronx, isolating Long Island, driving the Dodgers and Giants to California, and attempting to plow under all of Greenwich Village and SoHo.

    We are dinging Robert Moses for everything he was: a despicable megalomaniac whose few good contributions to the city of New York were outweighed by his multitude of disastrous ones. The fact that he converted from Judaism has nothing to do with it.

    It just makes the process more enjoyable.

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    September 3, 2009

    See Also

    Michael Bloomberg

    Ralph Branca

    Milton Glaser

    Ed Koch

    Fiorello La Guardia
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