A Hate Crime on Long Island

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seven teenagers have been indicted in the stabbing death of an Ecuadorean immigrant in Patchogue last week. The murder has led to renewed calls for reconciliation between Long Island natives and Latin American immigrants. Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri and Ricardo Montano, a Suffolk County Legislator, join us to discuss the crime and its implications.


Ricardo Montano and Paul Pontieri

Comments [23]

Joe from New Haven

Brian: You didn't connect the obvious real world dots as to why ill conceived efforts to get local law enforcement to "crack down" on illegal alliens (as displayed in Steve Levy's campaingn rhetoric)helps lead to the very situation that has clearly shaken up Mayor Pontieri. "Illegal" but otherwise peaceful people residing in your community will not report / commnicate with your law enforcement establishment when it involves being victim of or witness to a hate OR ANY OTHER crime. Civil society deteriorates and thugish types (racist or not) know that they can get away with their sadistic mischief. Who will report them? If the murder victim had "only" been badly beat up, with a broken rib and a couple of missing teeth nothing would have been reported. How can Mayor Pontieri govern in that situation? Here in New Haven, the current mayor and our police force have made admirable efforts to break down communication barriers and have been piloried in the right wing press for it. Meanwhile, life goes on and the sky hasen't fallen.

Nov. 17 2008 06:28 PM
DAT from Nathan Straus Projects

The murder of that young man was a terrible
shame. Those responsible should be arrested,
tried and if found guilty, punished.

Mexico regularly rounds up individuals
from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala,
and deports them to their country of origin.

Mexican Airlines has a program, where
non-Mexicans are stopped and questioned at
the airport and if they cannot prove they
are Mexican, they are sent back to their
country of origin.

Racism is not particular
to just one group of people.

In South Africa, migrants from neighboring
African countries, are routinely harassed,
deported to their home countries, even killed.

Not every country grants a person automatic
citizenship just because an individual happens
to be born in that country, America does.

It is understandable that Americans react
with dismay to newcomers among them,
that have not entered the country legally.

They don't tolerate that in their own countries.

So why should America put up with that.

The problem has to be dealt with at
the borders of the United States
and that way it will never make its way
into places like Long Island.

Nov. 17 2008 01:55 PM
rhoust from nj

Nov. 17 2008 01:36 PM
Colette Carr from Flushing

To Susie; the racism is not just in pockets its everywhere its the way you are treated and watched Those whites who moved to Levittown, one of the largest whites only community in the fifties and communities like that all over LI to get away from blacks and Puerto Ricans brought their children and grandchildren up to believe that colored people are bad and ruin their property values

Nov. 17 2008 12:38 PM

I agree with Colette. Long Island is the most racist place I've ever lived. The villages were all created with the sole purpose of keeping black people out. There's a long history here of blaming minorities for their problems.

Nov. 17 2008 12:23 PM
Colette Carr from Flushing

I grew up on LI from the fifties thru seventies I remember how when we moved into our new home in Lakeview most of the white kids in the elementary school suddenly disappeared By the time I got to high school I realized that black people only lived in certain areas ie Hempstead, Roosevelt, Westbury You could not buy a house in Garden City, Rockville Centre, Malverne etc etc never mind the North Shore I think its time white people in LI acknowledged their racism their fear of colored peoples

Nov. 17 2008 12:15 PM

Imagine if a group of African Americans gathered on a corner, or in a Home Depot parking lot, waiting to be picked up for work. The police would be there in two seconds to break them up.

Immigrants are not stealing work from anyone anymore than they are targeting white people or overburdening hospitals. All of this is made up, racist crap put out there using false statistics (or no statistics) to further political agendas. Immigrants are just the latest to get the blame for bad leadership and community problems.

The only thing that stands in the way of a decent immigration policy is racism and the lies that come with it.

Nov. 17 2008 11:59 AM
Susie from Huntington, NY

After growing up in the city and moving to Long Island, it is seems apparent to me that there is deep fear and resentment of the immigrant community here by some pockets of people. The resentment in part comes from what some young white kids may perceive as a lack of job opportunities and general ignorance of different cultures.
There needs to be a educational effort and also communication bridges created. The religious community and other groups all over Long Island should champion this effort. I was happy to see the spontaneous turnout for the candlelight vigil.
All people on Long island should be vocal about their intolerance of these hate crimes but also try to get to the deeper roots of why and how these events occur.

Nov. 17 2008 11:52 AM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

"O"--i rather doubt that the locals would take the agriculture, landscaping, and dishwashing jobs (often all three at once) taken by immigrants in LI.

and really, it's not just anti-immigrant sentiment that abounds--there have been plenty of cases where an african american person is the victim of harassment or worse out there.

Nov. 17 2008 11:49 AM
AWM from UWS

It will also be a huge problem NATIONWIDE

Nov. 17 2008 11:49 AM
AWM from UWS

If the economy ends up where many knowledgeable people say its going this is going to be a HUGE problem NATIOWIDE.

Nov. 17 2008 11:46 AM
hjs from 11211

didn't people move to long island just to get away from POC

Nov. 17 2008 11:46 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

I appreciate mayor P taking responsibility. However, he needs to make it clear that racially based crimes have no place in today’s America, and Long Island. I don’t hear him saying it with any force.

Nov. 17 2008 11:45 AM
rylee from nyc

I am a Hispanic woman from L.I. moved here from California 6 years ago. Felt the "racially charged" atmosphere which is in my community on the North Shore. Most of it is the gap/disconnect between the Economically disadvantaged and affluent. This creates barriers and bad attitudes between both groups. Overall Long Island has problems with zenophobia and lack of inclusivity/creation of community. This is reflective of our leadership/lack of same.

Nov. 17 2008 11:44 AM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

this problem runs deeply and generationally on long island. we split time between suffolk co. and the city, and have been shocked by marches by "patriot groups" who protest immigrant labor (used largely by farms there), as well as general hate rhetoric by "nativist" senior citizens who even say that people who've lived in a town for 40 years, but were not born there are not considered "from" their home towns. this is systematic, and has been going on for decades. levy only fans the flames of hate.

Nov. 17 2008 11:43 AM

Mayor: what forums if any are there for you and your peers to communicate on this issue?

Thousands of towns are facing the same issue, yet the different ways it is handled can differ radically. (Yet the worst case scenario is the same for all.)

Nov. 17 2008 11:43 AM
Kathy from Ramsey, NJ

Any role of right wing anti-immigrant pundits in this type of crime? Do these kids or their families listen to these extremist folks?

Nov. 17 2008 11:43 AM
mc from manhattan

Please... LI may be mixed racially, but it's always had a whites only mentality.

Nov. 17 2008 11:42 AM
Dan from wheatley hgts.

I believe the culprit of the hate has to be laid at mr levys' door. his vitriol and shoot from the hip remarks enables this kind of disreguard of humanity FIRE MR LEVY

Nov. 17 2008 11:42 AM
Paul Goode from brooklyn

p.s. i am black

Nov. 17 2008 11:38 AM
Paul Goode from brooklyn

First, thankful that your guests aren't mincing words in recognizing the act and the problem. I visit friends and go surfing on long island often and quickly learned to steer clear of certain areas, especially the ones with american flags on the front of the house. While I do think it possible not to realize the full extent, anyone on Long Island should know the generalized race problems in Hannity's backyard.

Nov. 17 2008 11:37 AM
joli Furnari from Bloomfield NJ

Last week, Channel 2 news reported that the youths hurled "racial epitaphs" at their victim.

Nov. 17 2008 11:37 AM
O from Forest Hills

Violence is not the answer. But there is a lot of anger over jobs being taken from Americans by immigrants especially in this tough time and it is lashing out in ways like this.

Nov. 17 2008 11:33 AM

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