A host of elected officials and civic leaders has joined forces to fund a reward program in an effort to prevent further hate stickers from being plastered on public property throughout College Point and other areas of northeast Queens.
"It's just very disturbing to find this kind of garbage in our community," said state Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Fresh Meadows). "We just can't stand idly by and watch these things happen and hope they go away."
Mayersohn, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Whitestone civic activist Tony Avella announced their anti-hate reward program Friday at an outdoor news conference at the corner of Ulmer Street and 28th Avenue, where Avella said he saw hate stickers posted on poles and signs a few weeks earlier.
The three different types of stickers bash immigrants and blacks.
The program, also funded by state Assemblywoman Ann Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Bayside), is offering rewards of between $100 and $250 plus the possiblity of money for court appearances to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals committing hate graffiti.
Avella said he hoped the reward would entice witnesses who have seen individuals posting the stickers to come forward. He said the 109th Precinct and city Department of Sanitation were also seeking suspects.
Crowley noted that individuals have a right to free speech, but "the problem here is they're taking that speech, putting it on stickers and defacing public property."
Since last summer Avella has alerted the public every few months as the stickers surfaced in College Point, Whitestone, Flushing, Little Neck and Douglaston, but Stavisky said the problem dates back to the early 1990s when her late husband, Leonard Stavisky, was in office. She said every few years the stickers reappear.
The three different types of stickers that have been found are all apparently produced and distributed by a Hillsboro, W. Va.-based white supremacist group called the National Alliance, the elected officials said.
Two of the stickers - one in green that says "heterosexual black males are 14 times as likely as whites to be HIV carriers," one in red saying the white race has become "Earth's most endangered species" - were seen on the back of a stop sign in College Point last summer by this reporter.
Avella and the elected officials said a third orange sticker has also been discovered and he provided a copy of it to reporters at the news conference.
That sticker says "Stop Immigration! - Non-whites are turning America into a Third World slum. They come for welfare or to take our jobs. They bring crime. They are messy, disruptive, noisy and multiply rapidly. Let's send them home now!"
"We're a country of immigrants and to send this message is an absolute disgrace," Stavisky said.
All of the stickers are labeled "National Alliance" and have the group's post office box, phone number and web site listed.
According to its web site, the National Alliance was organized in February 1974 and spun out of another group, the National Youth Alliance, whose founder wrote a book which reportedly inspired 1995's bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
A National Alliance representative could not be contacted as of press time, but an answering machine at the phone number listed on the stickers had a lengthy message about the group's Aryan mission. He noted that the group offers children's books "free of the interracial and pro-homosexual propaganda that our libraries, schools and even some churches force feed to our children today."
The elected officials at the news conference were particularly concerned about the effect the stickers might have on children.
Asked if any of the elected officials had tried to contact the National Alliance, Crowley said no.
"I don't think they're interested in talking to us," Crowley said.
©2000 Community News Group
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