« The Foreclosure Crisis on Long Island | Main | Thanksgiving Turkey Donations »

November 19, 2008

Comments

SUSAN L.RUDNICK

I HAD AN UNEASY FEELING WHEN I SAW THE LINE OF YOUNG MEN BEING ESCORTED FROM THE POLICE STATION LAST WEEK.THE MAIN YOUNG MAN HAD A LOOK TOO FAMILIAR ;AND HE LOOKED FOCUSED !I KNEW DEEP DOWN THAT HE COULD BE AFFILIATED WITH A NEO NAZI GROUP,AND LOW & BEHOLD WE NOW HAVE LEARNED HIS BODY BEARS THE WORST SYMBOL OF HATE KNOWN TO THE 21ST CENTURY!I'D LIKE TO KNOW IF HIS FAMILY WAS AWARE OF THIS TATOO,AS WAS HIS GYM TEACHER @ SCHOOL?

John

While I don't for a second wish to imply that these kids weren't completely in the wrong by attacking (let alone killing) Lucero, I'm tired of "hate crimes" as a concept. Further, I think those very laws start the intolerance ball rolling.

I mean, really, what difference does it make if he's from Ecuador, Greece, Tibet, England, or Glen Cove? Someone brutally killed him. Would it have been less bad, somehow, if he was Bill Smith whose father came over on the Mayflower? What if Marcelo immigrated from Spain rather than Ecuador?

What difference does it make if the kids are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, or purple with orange polka-dots, for that matter? What difference does it make if they think the Nazis and KKK were/are right? Again, would it have been OK if the killing was part of a robbery?

While hate is probably a permanent part of life (example: I very much hate that I'm defending the KKK's right to hate), I can't help but believe that the intolerance will end when we stop making such an issue out of our differences. That goes as much for the old concept of the "Melting Pot" (translation: "Lose the accent, stop cooking smelly food, and get a desk job if you want to blend in") as the modern concepts of "ethnic (religious, sexual) pride" and "hate crime legislation."

There must be a middle ground between "hide your identity and act WASPy" and "push your native culture in anybody's face who doesn't move away fast enough and curse them for not caring enough." I think that's the space where we get to come together, when we can without being required to deny OR celebrate our differences.

Oh, hey, look. Somehow, my shoes have sprouted what appears to be a soapbox. Sorry to rant in your space, but every one of these incidents reminds me that we keep swinging between extremes, and always seem to make the problem worse through social engineering.

The comments to this entry are closed.