12/16/08

Gov. Paterson on Diffusing Hate on LI

Governor David Paterson has been working behind the scenes to diffuse tensions on Long Island in the aftermath of the hate murders of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue and Jose Sucuzhañay in Bushwick.

Working through his Commissioner of Human Rights Commissioner Galen Kirkland, Paterson who sought to facilitate dialogue through a newly formed unity council.

Paterson's focus is clearly on touching the hearts and minds, i.e., changing the culture, so that healing and peace can take root in troubled families and communities. His prescription includes:

A focus on youth.

"Most of the uprisings are from younger people who are taking the antagonistic words of their elders and manifesting them in violence. Adults, you see, are grown-ups. They've got jobs... and for the most part they don't have time to swing baseball bats at each other because this is not going to be productive."
A call to parents to watch what they teach the children.

"There are citizens who are good citizens, but who may have contributed to the problem in the privacy of their own homes. They are spawning contempt and bias with some very loathsome things they have to say to their family members."
And a call on the community to resist the destructive influences of hate.

"People have to realize that they are ... getting a reputation, like a Skokie. Hate is not good for the economy, not good for the quality of life, not good for our home values, not good for our children."
Link: Guv lends support to Island anti-hate measures

Photo: Gov. Paterson's spring visit to Hempstead High School.(Audrey C. Tiernan, Newsday)
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