Hampden Township commissioner accused of writing racist limericks

Carlisle/West Shore

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Hampden Township commissioner is coming under fire for some of the thousands of limericks he penned for more than a decade.

Al Bienstock hosted a page called “Right Wing Limericks.”

In his almost 6,000 limericks, Bienstock used the N-word multiple times and used stereotypes when talking about Muslims.

Bienstock says his limericks cited current events and studies and was all political humor.

“Over the centuries, people have used humor, they’ve used irony, they’ve used all kinds of things in political commentary,” Bienstock said. “I did it in limerick form, which is an extension of that.”

He says he was simply re-quoting liberal leaders such as Al Sharpton and Robert Byrd.

“What I did was cite the fact that these prominent Democrats were hypocritical in talking about other people and whether they are racially sensitive or not, when they, in fact, used that term regularly,” Bienstock said.

In another limerick, Bienstock wrote about a $5 million National Institutes of Health Study, saying gay men are thin and lesbians are fat.

“I was making fun of the fact that they were wasting huge amounts of money for a study like that and using humor to do it,” Bienstock said.

He went on to say it wasn’t an attack on gay people at all.

In his limericks, Bienstock also made mention of Muslims and Sikhs, referring to their traditional headwear and suggesting it is okay to racially profile them.

“The expression that people were using on TV, they’re checking out little old white hair ladies. Why don’t they concentrate on young Muslim men because they have been the perpetrators? Not all Muslims, Muslim terrorists,” Bienstock said.

The Hampden Township Democratic Club says the writings reveal serious questions about his judgment and ability to lead the township.

This morning the attached press release was sent to local media and community groups highlighting limericks written by…

Posted by Hampden Township Democratic Club on Monday, October 21, 2019

In response, Bienstock said, “Quite frankly, I find it just about laughable that they’re so desperate that they’re resorting to something like this.”

He went on to say: “I think the people of Hampden Township know my reputation. They know I have been a fair commissioner.”

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