Former advisor for President Barack Obama, Stuart Seldowitz, was arrested after several viral videos circulated online of him ranting Islamophobic statements to a halal food vendor. (Courtesy: X/@itslaylas)
Former advisor for President Barack Obama, Stuart Seldowitz, was arrested after several viral videos circulated online of him ranting Islamophobic statements to a halal food vendor.
The incident occurred in New York’s Upper East Side neighbourhood, where he allegedly harassed the victim, 24-year-old Mohamed Hussein.
Hussein said he was still shaken by his recent encounters with the 64-year-old ex-diplomat, according to the New York Post.
People are also caught off guard because Seldowitz used to work in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, according to the New York Times.
“That’s why you’re selling food in a food cart cause you’re ignorant, but you should learn English, it would help you,” Seldowitz said in a video post, and then he tells him he’ll be deported back to Egypt.
Since the viral video has been shared across social media platforms, New Yorkers have allied together to show support to the vendor. A community Instagram account posted photos of people lining up for food and sitting at a folding table enjoying their meals.
One Instagram user commented, “New Yorkers might be mean, but f**k with us, we got your back. We really outside.”
Another user said, “This is what makes New York the best city in the world.”
Seldowitz has been charged with aggravated harassment, hate crime and two counts of stalking, according to the New York Police Department.