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From Long Island Wins: March 22, 2013

Hate Crimes: Then and Now

The murder of Marcelo Lucero lingers as a scar on Long Island’s conscience.

Four and a half years after the savage hate crime, we still struggle to understand how those involved in the attack could act with such horrific violence. And at the same time we struggle to understand the climate of anger towards immigrants from which this savagery emerged, a rising tide of hatred that clearly helped buoy the attackers to action. The attack was clearly a particularly brutal eruption of a very big problem and in a very real way, the angry teenagers who killed Marcelo Lucero are rightly serving prison sentences for the act, but they didn’t act alone.

Holding the guilty accountable while we account for the undeniable effects of the culture on them is a key theme of Susan Hagedorn’s compelling new documentary film Deputized. (Full disclosure: the foundation started by Susan’s late father has been a major funder to my employer, Long Island Wins).

Deputized – which you should go see the first chance you can, (a screening schedule is posted to www.deputizedmovie.com) — provides a much-needed reckoning, giving voice to countless perspectives on the attack (including the attackers and their families) while letting precisely no one off the hook for the attack and for the toxic culture that led to it.

What’s clear from this movie is that this debate is as alive today in this time and place as it’s ever been. The movie shows that the line between bullying and criminality, between provocation and action, is thinner than any of us would like to admit.

Nassau County hasn’t faced the strife on this issue that Suffolk has. And with comprehensive immigration reform receiving its most respectful hearing in ages in Washington these days, it seems like we might have already passed our moment of “peak hatred,” if you will, on immigration issues.

But the movie reminds us that the attacks took place at a moment of optimism as well – just days after the 2008 election of President Obama led many to believe that America had entered a new era of tolerance. The truth is that ugly facts present themselves even during hopeful times, and it’s up to us to take notice.

As Long Island Wins’ own Pat Young points out in the movie, one of the assailants said in his confession that the recurring recreational assaults on immigrants known as “beaner hopping” was a regular occurrence, even a banal one for the students in question. Specifically he said, “I don’t go out doing this very often, maybe only once a week.”

That so much violence was taking place with so little notice should shake our complacency about our new and supposedly better circumstances. See the movie. Join us in recognizing the depth of the challenges we face. And let’s get to work.

Maryann Sinclair Slutsky is the executive director of Long Island Wins, a nonprofit communications organization promoting commonsense policy solutions to local immigration issues. longislandwins.com.

 

News

After spotting an abandoned cemetery at the corner of Grant Avenue and Rose Street in the heart of downtown Farmingdale, resident Vicki Gruber became inspired to trace the lineage of the Van Cott family—some of the earliest settlers in the Farmingdale community. Gruber, a corporate and securities attorney, said that after approaching the village about the history of the cemetery, she took it upon herself to do the research. Compiling three or four years worth of newfound information, Gruber discovered that each of the 16 plots in the cemetery are direct descendants of Claes Cornelissen Van Cats, a Dutch settler and firm believer in democracy, home rule and civil liberty. 

Farmingdale village officials will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 1, to reexamine school speed zones throughout the village, in order to establish a consistent school speed zone limit. 


Sports

At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


Calendar

Les Miserables - November 21

The Wedding Singer - November 21

Holiday Parade - November 22


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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