Saturday, January 21, 2006

There's No Place For Hate On Our Island

Local Assemblyman Decries North Valley Stream Hate Crime

I hope everyone is as outraged as I am over the hate crime that took place in North Valley Stream this past week. I am sickened by this act and strongly support the fullest prosecution of those involved in attacking our community.

As a resident of North Valley Stream, I want to say publicly and forcefully that hate has no place in our neighborhoods. Those who commit these acts do not represent our diverse community that welcomes everyone with an open hand. That’s why, I want to say I am truly sorry that the Burke family has had to go through this. This is not a “welcome mat” anybody deserves.

The graffiti incident in North Valley Stream is symptomatic of individuals who would rather divide and stereotype rather than embrace and learn from people of all cultures and backgrounds. The fact is, our strength as a community comes from our diversity.

Today, we can look at points in our history where hate and prejudice held us back as a nation. Whether it was “Irish Need Not Apply,” anti-Semitism, anti-Italian slurs, separate water fountains based on race and countless other attacks, we can reflect on the narrow-mindedness and prejudice these actions had.

Racism and prejudice has no place in our neighborhoods. Period. As a community, we have a responsibility to educate and enlighten. And, we have a responsibility to stamp out racism in every corner.


Assemblyman Tom Alfano
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