Claims of Racism Spread to More Venues — Moms Groups and Parks

Svitlana Flom called police on a Black woman in another local incident that’s making headlines.

Protesters are filling the streets to combat racism and police violence. But fights about racism are happening elsewhere too. Moms groups on Facebook have been roiled by allegations that some posts are racist, or that administrators are not listening to the voices of Black people.

The latest incident occurred at an Upper East Side moms group where the administrator at first resisted adding a black administrator after she was asked, the Post reported.

The UES Mommas, a group of nearly 40,000 women who usually trade tips on nursery schools and strollers, roiled for days over racial issues, including whether to add a black moderator or even if conversation about the protests over the killing of George Floyd was even allowed.

“You can’t decide that you’ve got a mom’s group and that the topic of race and protests is off limits. It’s all interwoven with parenting. It’s kind of an unrealistic position to have right now,” said Adia Tucker, 40, who is black and lives in Queens.

Tucker was even more surprised that the white moderator refused to budge when members called for the addition of a black mom to help oversee the private group.

Administrator Lindsey Plotnick Berger wrote that the leadership “is what it is” and those who don’t like it could leave the group, the Post reported. And women who had raised concersn were booted out of the group, according to the Post. Berger eventually relented and apologized, first closing the group and then reopening it with a Black and Asian moderator added.

Similar tension has occurred at UWS Mommas, according to the website Insider.

Prior to the controversy at UES Mommas, a user posted an anonymous response to the Amy Cooper incident in “UWS Mommas,” a Facebook group for parents living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side of Manhattan, which a number of members said they felt was rife with racist language. One of the white administrators stepped down at that point, and members asked for a black moderator to be hired, another white administrator told Insider.

A white administrator for that group told Insider that the group is working on hiring a black moderator, but hasn’t found the right person for the job yet.

One recent post on the UWS Mommas site discussed this issue:

At UWS Mommas we are still navigating what it means to be inclusive but we felt it was important to lift voices and support Black Lives Matter today as there is a call to action across Social Media. We stand with you and lift your voice.
As other groups are archiving, we would like to remain a forum for civil discussion.
This is a group of support.
This is a group that is anti-racism and discrimination against those who have been oppressed.
If you break the group rules and attack others you will be removed.

And following stories about Amy Cooper, the woman who called police on a Black birdwatcher in Central Park, another story about a woman calling police on a black person surfaced. This incident occurred in Waterline Square, a new park created along with a luxury development between 59th and 61st Street along the Hudson River, according to the Daily News.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Jana’e Brown said she was tired from her long hours working at a local hospital and had walked outside to bask in the nightly applause for personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic when the ugly encounter unfolded.

That’s when 34-year-old socialite Svitlana Flom, a style blogger and Hamptons restaurant owner, accused her of smoking pot, refused to drop the matter and called police multiple times, according to Brown.

“I didn’t know who she was,” Brown, 30, said. “She’s just a random person, telling me I can’t sit here, telling me I can’t be here.”

Brown videotaped Flom — who told police Brown was “playing the black card” among other things — and posted it on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

From 6:15pm – 7:31pm this woman, Svitlana Flom, artdefete felt the need to not only approach me but call the cops MULTIPLE TIMES ON ME!! She was too “Alarmed” that I was sitting “comfortably” in “her neighborhood!” The first call was because she THOUGHT I was smoking in public.. but by the 3rd call, it was bcuz I was “threatening her & her children !!” While giving my description, she exaggerated her story & made it seem like I was the aggressor. “THIS AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN IS ATTACKING ME AND MY CHILDREN!” She had tears that were off & on & she stated things like “She’s pulling the black card!” Then wanted me to walk to the boys w/ her 🤦🏾‍♀️🤡 I probably could have just walked away!! I probably should have kept my mouth shut right ?! NAHHH!! I couldn’t understand why she was so mad ! Like ummmm first of alllll I pay alllll mine over here Miss Lady !! 🙄 How you come over here just feeling sooooo privileged & soooo comfortable enough to tell me I should leave ?! You’re buggin !! NOT THIS ONE!! She wanted to be a victim soooo bad!! NOT ONE PERSON CAME TO HER AID!! MULTIPLE PPL witnessed the ordeal & just wanted to make sure I was ok! SHARE THESE VIDEOS AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE !! #SvitlanaFlom @maisonvivinyc @huffpost @ariannahuff

A post shared by *Pretty Brown* (@_brownsugarbaby) on

Brown says Flom exaggerated the situation, and made alarming claims — similar to the Amy Cooper incident. Flom told the News that Brown was “harassing me, calling me all kinds of names and profiling me.”

Police arrived and took no action.

NEWS | 30 comments | permalink
    1. Woody says:

      I thought the UWS was so liberal and progressive.

      Now I’m reading about an UWS Mommas members posting racist comments online.

      The hypocrisy is no surprise.

      • Marilyn says:

        The old UWS was. It was also diverse. And never had community groups formed to keep out poor people as it does now. And back then we had commerce instead of emoty storefronts.

        • Trisha Ridge says:

          I raised 3 kids on the UWS. PS 87 to IS 44…I thank god it was before social media! For their sake and mine..
          The diversity and range of people was what we LOVED.
          Sadly it’s all changed….

          • knishy says:

            As a former PS 87 POC parent, I can tell you there’s a now-high school student I know who changed classes because of racist bullying and the administration’s complicity.

    2. A UES Momma says:

      The group admin *never* apologized.

    3. m.pipik says:

      The UWS ain’t what is used to be. Over the past 40+ years that I have lived here it has gone from being a very liberal community with Jews who were often refugees from Nazi Europe (not only survivors), people who performing artists or who worked in the arts, academics, and young people starting out.

      Now only the rich, often entitled, can afford to move here. Thank goodness for rent stabilization and the 1980s co-op conversions which were still affordable. Some of us can still live here.

      The sense of community is long gone.

    4. Alice says:

      NYC Moms for safer streets on FB is really racist. I had to leave the group, lots of Karens. It was started by uws moms.

      • LK says:

        I’m sorry you experienced racism. Please note that assigning unacceptable behavior to a name ( in this case Karen ) is offensive and not acceptable.

      • Shaniqua says:

        Now, more than ever before in the history of the world and of the internet, it’s never been easier to start your OWN damned internet momma’s group.

        Despite what you may assert, you are not entitled to glom on to someone else’s brand, and grab THEIR megaphone to shout YOUR message.

        For every ‘Karen’ there’s a ‘Shaniqua’.

    5. Sarah says:

      Some women think that under the guise of being a “mama” they can let alllllll their ugliness hang out. Cut it out.

    6. CB says:

      please, i want to get off this train

    7. Concerned citizen says:

      More “Karens” emerge from their upscale gilded bunkers. Interesting how many of them have black nannies. Oh, that’s right, they’re just “the help.”

    8. CB says:

      i seriously believe that democrats would make voting illegal in a heartbeat if they had the chance, and of course would feel righteous and justified in doing so. we’ve come a long way, haven’t we. just a generation ago, liberals were the protectors of free speech and now just look at how they’ve grown up!

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        CB: “Democrats would make voting illegal in a heartbeat if they had the chance”

        Seriously? Have you noticed at all what is going on with voting suppression laws throughout the US, and who is behind it? It is almost always Republicans who push these measures, and Republicans in the Senate who neutered the voting rights act.

        it is true that in NY State both Dem and Repub incumbents have successfully made ballot access and changing of parties difficult. But there is a new law passed by the legislature, and it was left liberals who led the charge to open up voting.

        Facts matter.

        • Josh says:

          Bruce, the problem is, in this day and age, facts dont matter because people will just come up with alternative facts to back up their statements if the truth does not.

    9. mkmuws says:

      Thank you, so tired of the Karen crap. With everything going on now, it’s amazing that people aren’t rethinking this ridiculous, gross meme.

    10. CB says:

      the mom’s group is not allowing free speech and trying to tell people what topics are off limits. but if some mom’s feel that the issues related to the protests are important, shouldn’t they be able to raise those issues in the forum?

      • Boris says:

        You have no right to free speech in a forum. Ever notice how the WSR moderates comments and doesn’t let all of them get published here?

        I suggest you learn what the Constitutional concept of free speech applies to.

    11. Lashawn Martin says:

      Will the moms group have any transgender administrators? Homosexual administrators? Non-binary administrators? Administrators with a lisp? Handicapped administrators?

    12. jj says:

      Uws mommas is not run by uws moms. And not all the admins and moderators are women either. And not all the most vocal members even live on the uws.

    13. Sense and Sensibility says:

      “At UWS Mommas we are still navigating what it means to be inclusive…”
      Do these Mommas not hear how hypocritical they sound? What does it say about them that they haven’t been able to puzzle out if and how to “include” those who are unlike themselves? That they need to mull over whether to admit the unincluded into their privileged midst? The saddest thing about this is that they are passing on their embedded racism to the next generation.

    14. SophiaG says:

      I’ve seen a lot of videos on social media of racists kneeling before and/or washing the feet of the oppressed. Could we organize some stations on Broadway where we could atone for our sins? Any ideas?

    15. Chelsea M says:

      It’s sad but true. Their needs to be policy changes! Making false claims to 911 or police should be a crime!! Charges should be brought against those who abuse the system for their skin privilege.
      It is sad that these neighborhoods belonged to black and brown ppl but were stolen from us so that the priveleged can live comfortable. Then the audacity to give black and brown ppl stares when we enter parks with our children or stroll through our neighborhoods. Its time to stand up and take back what we all are in this country for equality, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. Mrs. Svitlana Flom accent sounds like she is not a born citizen of the US but has been infected with the ignorance.#NOJUSTICENOPEACE #BLACKLIVESMATTER