Readers Write: No safe harbor for hate in Nassau County

Readers Write: No safe harbor for hate in Nassau County
Photo provided by the League of Women Voters

On Sunday, July 25, I had the distinct honor and privilege to celebrate the opening of the beautiful Gurudwara Shaheedan of Hicksville and rejoice in the spirit of peace, love and light embraced by our brothers and sisters of the Sikh community.

Last week, we learned that a gurdwara under construction in New Hyde Park was the target of disgusting, racist vandalism. Worse yet, as reported by the Washington Post, the Sikh Coalition noted the vandalism occurred days before the ninth anniversary of the Oak Creek gurdwara mass shooting in Wisconsin, when on Aug. 5, 2012, a gunman with links to neo-Nazi groups killed six worshipers.

This most recent incident is sadly emblematic of the targeted hatred that so many in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why I filed legislation this spring to update county law to specifically outlaw discrimination based on an actual or perceived relationship to the pandemic and empower victims of discrimination to sue for compensatory and punitive damages and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Unfortunately, since that time the measure has languished without a public hearing. I once again urge my colleagues in the Majority to bring this measure to the floor of the Legislature so that it can be debated, approved, and sent to the County Executive’s desk.

Hate has no place in Nassau County, and I proudly stand with the Sikh community today and always. Police are asking anyone with information about the New Hyde Park incident to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.

Arnold Drucker

Nassau County Legislator (LD 16)

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