The Township Council president has been accused of sharing two inflammatory posts on Facebook — one antisemitic in nature and another that suggested Chinese people were to blame for the pandemic. In response, Joyce Ship-Freeman said her page was “hacked” and that she is being attacked for “purely political” reasons.
“I am a proud African American woman who rose above it all and will not let men bully me when they don’t get their way. Shame on them for hating a woman who happens to be African American and a senior citizen,” Ship-Freeman, a Democrat, said Wednesday evening in an email to New Jersey 101.5 News.
In a written statement Tuesday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center shared two screenshots that appear to show the posts on a personal Facebook page of Joyce Ship-Freeman.
One of the posts incorrectly described a “Saint Corona” as a patron saint of plagues and infectious diseases. It went on to purportedly draw a connection to “Israel” becoming a nation in a disparaging manner.
The second post appeared to point to the origin of the novel coronavirus in China as a motivation for not eating Chinese food.
The SWC called for a “clear public apology” from Ship-Freeman. “Whatever the circumstances of how they got on her page, why has it taken her one month to remove the incendiary tropes about Jews and Israel?” the organization said.
Simon Wiesenthal Center Eastern Director Michael Cohen also said in an email that the posts were finally taken down by Ship-Freeman “only when publicly called out, and secondly, that her initial public reaction was not to condemn the antisemitic and anti-Chinese messages but rather to prioritize her personal political image.”