We attended the September 13 City Council meeting during which two members of the audience referred to Mayor Josh Cohn and three of his colleagues as the “Gang of Four”. This term has been used many times before by Rye residents who are at odds with the Council. This usage shows a lack of awareness of history, as well as a lack of respect for the civility that most Rye residents wish to see at City Hall.
The Gang of Four were a radical faction of China’s so-called Cultural Revolution whose members went on trial for treason and other crimes against the Chinese state, including the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people.
Those using the term know they are being provocative and disrespectful as well as insulting. It is being used to belittle four good people who continually work hard on the community’s behalf without perks or pay. They are not criminals and are not a gang.
At that City Council meeting, one of us, (Jackie Botwinick), pointed out that the use of this term is alienating and distancing. We hope this message is heard and used as a reference.
– Jackie Botwinick and Gina Lemon