Editorial: Put an end to ignorance in New York City

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Arguably, the worst aspect of our modern era is the politicization of both a global pandemic and of hate.

The issues of our health and respect of one another in society should be a universally shared belief, regardless of race, creed, color or party affiliation. We should want to protect each other from a plague; we should want to stop spreading hate and instead promote kindness and justice for all.

But that’s not where we are in America in 2021. We are a society split in two factions: those who respect each other, and those who only respect themselves. One side cares to solve two of the biggest issues of our time; the other side couldn’t care less about them.

Look at the rash of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans both in New York and throughout the country. Slurs that the former president trumpeted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic last year fueled an ugly backlash that continues to this day.

Over the weekend, as hundreds protested the most recent rash of hate crimes, an elderly man was beaten up by a bigot on the Lower East Side; and a protester was attacked by a hate-filled brute in NoHo who stomped on the sign she carried, then punched her repeatedly in the face.

It’s reflective of the kind of ignorance that has permeated the country during the pandemic. The simple act of wearing a mask to protect other people was wrongly conflated into a debate over personal freedom. Business closures, painful as they were, were also roped into the false debate.

And there figures to be more ignorance to come now with media outlets reporting on what they’ve dubbed as “the crisis on the border.” It is indeed a humanitarian crisis, but the response to this is not one of concern over the welfare of migrants coming into America.

The same people on the right who condoned the former administration’s jailing of immigrant children are again smearing migrants on our border as some sort of foreign invasion to be stopped. That will only kindle more acts of hatred in this country — and they don’t seem to care.

Enough is enough!

We cannot allow this ignorance to continue. We must rise up and drown it out.

Speak up, New York! Say no to hate, ignorance and bloodshed. Say yes to unity, justice, tolerance and equality.

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