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No place for hate

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Queens welcomes people from all over the world, but there is no room for anyone spewing hate in the nation’s most ethnically diverse borough. Half of Queens’ residents were born outside the United States and many came here—some at great risk—to find the freedom and equality they were denied at home.

Life in the borough has been an experiment in tolerance, with immigrants of every stripe raising families next door to one another and finding common ground in the workplace.

But with last week’s election of Donald Trump, who vowed on the campaign trail to ban Muslims and deport immigrants, the landscape has suddenly changed in Queens.

Elected officials have begun to speak out against hate and organize rallies, the Queens DA has pledged to prosecute hate crimes and many residents born abroad are living in fear.

Days after the election City Councilman Danny Dromm and state Assemblyman Ron Kim held a unity rally in Jackson Heights to support immigrants and send the message that “diversity trumps hate.”

State Sen. James Sanders, who called Trump a danger to the black community, met with southeast Queens leaders to plan strategy on preserving hard-won gains.

The FBI reported hate crimes jumped 7 percent across the country in 2015 fueled by a 67 percent rise in attacks against Muslims. Three Muslims were killed on Queens streets during the summer.

The city’s five district attorneys released a statement saying over the past week their offices had been notified of multiple incidents in which New Yorkers had been threatened because of their race or religion and they were closely monitoring the reports.

Lawmakers David Weprin and Barry Grodenchik said Queens would not stand for hate after a 19-year-old Muslim woman from Bellerose riding the Q43 bus was harassed by a couple who demanded she take off her hijab. The day before a group of St. Francis Prep girls made a racial comment about black and Hispanic people sitting on a city bus.

Whether Trump follows up on his campaign rhetoric is to be seen, but his warnings prompted City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer to organize a walk from Queens to Trump Tower this weekend.

“We’ll march over the Queensborough Bridge from the place Trump once called home to remind him that diversity makes us stronger,” he said.

“The World’s Borough” is gearing up for a long fight to protect the rights of all our neighbors regardless of race, religion or gender. What better place to defeat hate than right here in Queens.

Posted 12:00 am, November 18, 2016
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Reader feedback

Lou from Bayside says:
Our current so called President, the imposter,Hussein Obama has done nothing but pit race against race and religion against religion since he first took office. 3 days after taking office he gave a speech at Georgetown Univcrsity where he covered up the crucifix. When Major Hassan killed 8 soldiers at Ft Hood the wonderful Obama called it "workplace violence". When the people in Orlando were slaughtered in the nightclub including many victims who were castrated which the media did not report , our so called President refused to identify the attack for what it was.When our so called President takes So called refugees from the third world and purposely iserts them in Communities like P0rtland Maine and Boise Idaho and Casper Wyoming with the express intent of destroying that community and making making it less white ,thats a hate crime against that community by a President who hates this country and its people.The crooked Democratic party led by Wasserman Schultz purposely denied Old Marxist Sanders the no,mination and instead chose a tires old druken lesbian as their nominee. She was soundly defeated. I for one are very glad that Trump will be watching a bit more closely who comes in to our country. Obama who hates him self, hates his bi racial makeup would have continued through Hillary Clinton to flood this country with third world cut throats. I think this paper should be asking why Bill Clinton (20 trips) and Hillary Clinton (6 trips) were frequent visitors at pedophile Jeffrey Epsteins "Orgy Island". One can only woder what type of "hate crimes" took place there!
Nov. 18, 2016, 5:50 am
The media is responsible from Queens says:
You know what the problem is? This country has become WAY TOO LIBERAL. We have a problem with calling everything what it really is and always blaming white people for other races problems. Whenever a white person even thinks something about another race, we get protested against and called a kkk member. They think that every other race is entitled to say whatever they want to say about other races and homosexuals. Why don't we criticize the west Indian people for taking homosexuals in the middle of the streets in their own countries and beating them? Why don't we criticize the way the Muslim men treat their wives? Why don't we criticize the way most Spanish people hate black people? Do people not realize that in California the Spanish gangs over there kill the black people just so they can gain control over their neighborhoods? But yet if a white person even thinks anything bad about a person of another race, we are automatically labeled as kkk members and racists. I probably have a way more diverse group of friends than any of these idiot liberals have so please spare me the ridiculous articles about hate. The media is the one spreading the hate by writING or speaking about every little think that is anti gay, anti muslim, anti illegal immigration, anti semetic.
Nov. 18, 2016, 7:29 am
The media is responsible from Queens says:
Every little thing*
Nov. 18, 2016, 7:30 am
not before 2008 from Queens says:
This country has gotten very polarized since 2008. Gee wonder who took office then? Cannot solve the world's problems with a beer summit. Grow up.
Nov. 18, 2016, 10:13 am
GY from Flushing says:
So far I see that the opinions reflected above certainly don't reflect an acceptance of the variety of people in Queens. Overall Queens is a success in the way that it has evolved over the past 20 years as a borough that is still affordable for most working people, and in the way that it is just being itself - a mix of people and recent immigrants of many cultures, of workers and students and elderly and families, with plenty of large companies, and small businesses that have access to reliable educated local labor - and this happens without analyzing or antagonizing endlessly. While no one from Manhattan or Brooklyn believes there is anything to brag about if one lives in Queens, I am glad to live in Queens and don't take for granted that it is a part of New York where people can just be themselves and go about their lives regardless of their ethnic or cultural background, without being self-conscious. That in itself is something that is unique and it is odd that all of a sudden some want to present it as un-American. New York as always been a gateway to immigration, and Queens is an example of one way and of that one particular aspect of the American experience in this place, that makes America great.
It takes a couple of generations for immigrant families to be more integrated into the American culture, but living in a place like Queens makes the process a lot easier and more natural.
I appreciate our many colleges, our parks, all the places where one can watch soccer games, tennis and the US Open, the baseball fields, and the waterfront. I appreciate seeing a varied community come together in these places with respect and tolerance. It is a great place to raise kids, at all income levels.
Don't take this experience and this environment for granted. Rise above the resentment and antagonism. Be grateful for the good things, and work to improve the quality of your life along with the lives of people who are part of the community. You may have more in common with them than you realize.
Nov. 18, 2016, 10:08 pm
at great risk from Queens says:
Your article says that immigrants came at great risk. That is a lot of garbage and you know it. People flew here on planes, they did not climb through broken glass. Stop trying to garner sympathy for people who mainly came here for economic reasons. Let's tell the truth for once.
Nov. 21, 2016, 12:18 pm

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