2007-08-31 / Letters

Editorial Is Detrimental To Rockaway

Dear Editor,

I am writing as a resident of Belle Harbor and Neponsit for 45 years.

I moved here from Brooklyn as a preteen and have been a graduate of Junior High School 180 and Far Rockaway High School.

I have never been so appalled at something I have read in our local paper, the Wave, in all my years in the Rockaways. The commentary by Howard Schwach in the Wave on Friday, August 10 (More People Have Died in the Name of Religion Issue) was so reprehensible that I feel compelled to respond.

Here we are in the Rockaways, a wonderful community, a small beautiful refuge in the big city, a place once written about in the New York Times as the 'Best Kept Secret,' where, I believe, we all band together for its betterment and to keep its unique and exclusive qualities. We strive for peace and quiet, and try to live with mutual respect among our neighbors.

Most of us have this goal in common except obviously Mr. Schwach who has the audacity to write such offensive, unsubstantiated, unresearched, inflammatory and anti Jewish, Christian and Moslem remarks.

I would believe that The Wave and its editor would try to express the needs of the community or to elevate it if he feels something is wrong. Not to degrade it, try to divide it, cause embarrassment, bring in fear tactics and try to put a spike into the relations of our diverse community groups and to present the Rockaways in such negative light and doom.

Since when does an editor of a local newspaper disparage the very community it should support? Perhaps you might be better off writing for New York Magazine, Mr. Schwach.

We learn from one of your writers, Brian Magoolaghan, in a front page article on the same day that you wrote your editorial, that New York magazine printed one of 'the most unflattering- and inaccurate- blurbs ever written about the (Rockaway) peninsula.'

No, Mr. Schwach, we won't call you 'an atheist.' We don't care if you beieve in a god or not, and we don't give a hoot if you are a 'secular humanist' whatever that is.

You are an obvious hate monger. As a former teacher I guess you missed the period of World War II.

Just a note that the United States did not enter the war in the cause of religion, but because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Also note that Hitler murdered six million Jewish people and five million 'others,' including homosexuals, gypsies and Jehovah witnesses. He also wouldn't have cared if you were an atheist either. Hitler would have called you a Jew no matter how you would have tried, to deny it, or label it, or hide it. He would have traced your lineage through past generations and you might have met the fate of one of the six million murdered.

How you 'wish you had a book store in Rockaway,' you lament. So why not try to promote and encourage one to open here instead of ogling about the book store in the five towns and spreading misinformation and hearsay about it and other establishments.

"Is this what we want our community facility to become?" you ask, regarding the new Y that is supposed to be built. Because the Y is meant to represent the entire Rockaway community and people are allowed to make special requests that you might not agree with, is that what disturbs you Mr. Schwach?

You worry about the impact of religion on your life, Mr. Schwach?

I am worried about your detrimental impact on my life and the life of the Rockaways and surrounding communities.


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