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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

There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.

Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.

It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.

An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.


Sports

It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.

“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 


Calendar

Board of Education Special Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Movies on the Green: The Nut Job

Thursday, Aug. 28

Warbirds Legends Weekend

Friday, Aug. 29



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
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com