Northport Trustees Condemn Recent ‘Despicable’ Bias Incidents

Northport Village authorities Monday condemned a recent series of bias incidents that have occurred around the village.

On Sunday, a performer in “Smokey Joe’s” at Engeman Theater reported that they were the target of a racial slur, shouted by a white man in a car, after the cast member left the matinee show and was walking along Main Street. In response, the theater canceled Sunday night’s show.

On Oct. 5, HuntingtonNow.com reported that an East Northport rabbi said a man had shouted at them “about how could we have possibly rejected the Savior,” at Jewish students who were participating in a religious ceremony  at Northport Village Park. It was the second year that the Jewish students had been accosted, the rabbi said.

Some people opposed to the state vaccine mandate for healthcare workers carried signs bearing swastikas during a protest at the home of Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling.

In addition, a swastika symbol was found on the Ocean Avenue Elementary School playground.

“We as the Northport Village Board both individually and collectively express our strongest condemnation of these hatred and disgusting acts,” a letter from Mayor Damon McMullen said. It was posted to the village website and also signed by trustees Ian Milligan, Tom Kehoe and Dave Weber. “The acts are despicable, unconscionable, and un-American. The Village Board and I have reached out to representatives of the group Not in our Town (NIOT) and Rabbi (Ian) of the East Northport Jewish Center and Kevin O’Neill, owner of the Engeman Theater. We will continue to speak out against all forms of hate and plan on organizing a public vigil to demonstrate that we in Northport Village and the surrounding community at large will not tolerate hate and bigotry in any shape or form.”

NIOT had already planned a family day for Saturday inn Cow Harbor Park.

The trustees’ letter:

Yesterday we were informed of an incident involving a performer at Engeman Theater who was subjected to a horrific racial slur. Unfortunately, similar to other communities, our community is not immune to racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry. We as a community have recently experienced several acts of bigotry and hate that must be confronted and condemned in the strongest terms. Whether it was the swastika symbol found on the Ocean Avenue playground, or the swastika used at the protest of the home of the CEO of Northwell Health, or the bias graffiti found at Northport High School or as I recently addressed at the Northport Village Board Meeting, the individual yelling at members of the East Northport Jewish Center congregation down in Northport Village Park during the high holy day of Yom Kippur. None of these incidents are acceptable nor should they be tolerated.

We as the Northport Village Board both individually and collectively express our strongest condemnation of these hatred and disgusting acts. The recent acts are despicable, unconscionable, and un-American. The Village Board and I have reached out to representatives of the group Not in our Town (NIOT) and Rabbi Silverman of the East Northport Jewish Center and Kevin O’Neill owner of the Engeman Theater. We will continue to speak out against all forms of hate and plan on organizing a public vigil to demonstrate that we in Northport Village and the surrounding community at large will not tolerate hate and bigotry in any shape or form.

We must stand together united against those that espouse hate and bigotry and confront those that attempt to do damage to our beloved community. It has been well said many times before, “that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” We as the Northport Village Board of Trustees will continue to fight, speak out against, and do everything legally possible to combat hate, bigotry, and ignorance in our community.

Respectfully,

Mayor Damon McMullen

Trustee Ian Milligan

Trustee Tom Kehoe

Trustee Dave Weber

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