Welcome to the April 2021 issue of the Huntington Anti-Bias Taskforce (HABTF) Newsletter. The HABTF is a non-partisan group formed by the Town of Huntington in conjunction with the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force. It is made up of concerned clergy, community representatives and lay persons who work together to address the issue of intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and racism in any segment of our Town.

We've been meeting monthly since January 2019 and have accomplished quite a lot.   Upcoming meetings are 1 PM Wed Apr 28, May 26 & Jun 23 (4th Wed). Check out some of our projects below.   For more info about HABTF, click www.huntingtonny.gov/abtf.   For a list of resources, click Resource List.

If you have any comments or suggestions, e-mail Carmen Kasper, Director of Human Services, at ckasper@huntingtonny.gov

Click here to read HABTF Feb 2021 Newsletter
Click here to read HABTF Nov 2020 Newsletter
Click here to read HABTF Sept 2020 Newsletter
Click here to read HABTF June 2020 Newsletter

    2nd Precinct SCPD Report
By Inspector William Scrima

In the months of January and February, there were two significant incidents in The Second Precinct that were reported to have elements of bias:

On February 2, racial graffiti was discovered in a bathroom at Walt Whitman Shops. SCPD Hate Crimes Unit is investigating.

On February 26, a Zoom call was interrupted by a male who used racial slurs. SCPD Hate Crimes Unit is investigating.

For more information, please visit the department Website at  www.suffolkpd.org.

    Huntington’s New Ambassadors for Social Justice
By Veroniqe Bailey (from HUFSD Web site)

Naysa Escobar, Erik Flores, Johanna Campos-Moreira, Anaya Watkis, Teddi Carnesi, Fantazhia Ward, Jahiem Hawkins, and Leo Martinez have been nominated to serve as Huntington High School’s new Ambassadors for Social Justice.

The eight teenagers will be working with Huntington UFSD school psychologist Dr. Cynthia Fletcher on this new initiative, which has been wholeheartedly embraced by high school Principal Brenden Cusack.

“The Ambassadors for Social Justice is a small group of students who have great interest in advocating for their peers regarding social justice,” Ms. Carnesi said. “In the world we live in today, we find it very important to make sure the thoughts and concerns of all our classmates are represented. Dr. Fletcher and Mr. Cusack have given us opportunities to attend forums on racism and social justice. The forums will provide us with an opportunity to learn more about social justice and how we can advocate in our communities. In the near future, we will collaborate with other schools on Long Island to discuss the injustices that students face and how we can resolve those injustices.”

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    The Swastika: A Symbol of Hate
By Denise Ham (from ADL Web site)

The swastika is an ancient symbol that emerged independently among many cultures on several continents. Before the 20th century, its use (including in the United States) was almost always benign. Even today, the swastika is a common symbol across Asia, used by Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of other religions, where it is often associated with good fortune.

However, in the early 20th century, various right-wing adherents of the so-called “völkisch” movement in Germany, a movement in large part dedicated to uncovering a romanticized and largely mythical German/“Aryan” past, adopted the swastika as a symbol. The use of the swastika in this context subsequently influenced Adolf Hitler to adopt the swastika as the primary symbol for the Nazi Party in 1920. The murderous legacy of the Nazi regime, especially the Holocaust, permanently converted the swastika into a symbol of hate, anti-Semitism and infamy.

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    Suffolk County Police Reform
By David Pinkowitz

On June 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 203, requiring each local government in N.Y. State to adopt a policing reform plan that will maintain public safety while building mutual trust and respect between police and the communities they serve.

On Mar 11, 2021 Suffolk County released a draft of their plan. You can read it a http://bit.ly/SC_Police-Reform-Plan2

At the same time, a collaboration of advocate organizations released The People's Plan. You can read a summary of this plan at http://bit.ly/Peoples-Plan_Summary

There are major differences between the two plans.

Anti-Hate Rally in Support of Asian-Americans
Held in Huntington
By Eve Krief

On Sunday March 21st, nearly 150 community members gathered in Huntington Village to stand against the disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate incidents and crimes over the past year. The event was organized by local artist Patricia Shih and Huntington Anti-Bias Task Force member Dr. Eve Krief and was highlighted in Newsday and News 12. The crowd was treated to music performed by local musicians Toby Tobias, Janice Buckner, Stuart Markus and Karen Bella who sang songs including 'Lean on me' and 'We Shall Overcome.' Speakers included NYS Senator Jim Gaughran, Long Island Chinese-American Association member Lucy Liu, Nassau County Legislator Arnie Drucker, Suffolk County Human Rights Commission member Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, Health and Welfare Council of Long Island president Rebecca Sanin and Dr. Krief.

As Americans we have a dark history of Anti-Asian racism and scapegoating that is rarely talked about or studied in school, but spans the generations. The so called 'Yellow Peril' of the 1880s described a fear of Asian invasion and a resentment of cheap labor from China that led to a ban on new and existing Chinese residents from becoming citizens in the Chinese Exclusion Act. At the turn of the century, Indian immigration triggered what was called the 'Dusky Peril' with many of the same fears leading to the Asiatic Barred Zone Act that put an end to most Indian and Asian immigration. In World War Two with America suspicious of its own Japanese citizens, Roosevelt ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps. After 9/11, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs -- many of them South-Asian-Americans -- were targets of hate crimes across the country.

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