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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, August 06, 2010

    Staten Island Focus: Hate Crimes on the Rise

    One of my favorite things about NYC is the diversity and considerable (if sometimes reluctant) tolerance for that diversity. But there is a very disturbing trend in Staten Island that seems to reflect the growing intolerance across the country. This comes from BBC News:

    Since April there have been 10 reported incidents of violence against Hispanic immigrants on Staten Island, a borough of New York City.

    The attacks have all occurred on the island's North Shore, principally in the community of Port Richmond.

    The most recent attack came on Saturday, when an 18-year-old student was beaten and robbed by a group of young African-American men while on his way home from working at a late-night restaurant...

    Today the fastest growing minority group in Port Richmond is Mexican.

    Mexico's Consul General in New York, Ruben Beltran, says he is "angry and frustrated" at the string of attacks.

    Earlier this week, he sent a consular representative to support Mexican immigrants in the neighbourhood.

    "We are travelling around Port Richmond to take stock of what's happening and also to let them know that the consulate is here," he said.

    Not all of the Hispanic members of the community are Mexican, and others are also feeling threatened.

    Juan Paz, a restaurant worker from Guatemala, has lived in the area for more than a decade. He says things have never been this bad before.

    "It's very dangerous now. When I come from work I have to be very careful," he says.

    I would have thought New Yorkers would be among the last to jump on the racism bandwagon that has swept the nation...but sadly we are susceptible to it here too.

    This week City Council member Debi Rose held a press conference to announce a ten point plan to end these hate crimes on Staten Island. Here are videos of that press conference:

    Part I:

    Part II:

    Let's hope Staten Island comes to its senses. And let's hope this kind of bullshit doesn't spread to the rest of NYC.


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