2005-03-18 / Editorial/Opinion

Often, Separation Breeds Hate And Bias Crimes

While nobody was physically harmed by the multiple bias crime that occurred on Beach 129 Street last weekend, it was a horrendous crime in any case, the type of event that could rend the community into small pieces. The words that were scrawled on a Hatzolah ambulance parked at the Yeshiva Mercaz Hatora, an Orthodox Jewish school, should be disturbing to all Rockaway residents. “Death to Jews,” scrawled in large red letters was nearby the top of the ambulance. “Hail (sic) Hitler,” another large section said. There were other things written on the side of the ambulance as well, but we can’t print them in a family newspaper. We have said over the past few months that young people (we are assuming this was done by a young person) must learn to live together, that to segregate young people from each other breeds first contempt and then hate – the kind of hate that allows actions such as this to happen. Two years ago, there was an incident between Catholic girls and Orthodox Jewish boys at that same place. We said at the time that the two groups need to get together and discuss both their differences and their similarities. That never happened. The adults from all the religious communities got together, but the kids never did. The Orthodox community, because of its traditions, refused. Now, however, things seem to be escalating. It is time for kids from all religions, all races, all ethnic backgrounds to be brought together by the adults responsible for their care and growth. If this does not happen, perhaps we are seeing only the beginning and perhaps, next time, somebody will be hurt.

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