Last week horrific symbols of hate were found in our beloved Theodore Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay. Seven swastikas were found across the pavilion, an overt act of hate during a time when our nation needs healing, tolerance, and love. Thanks to the swift work of local officials, this graffiti was quickly painted over, yet the stain of the pain from these acts remains.
I applaud all of those who have stepped up to condemn this hate crime for what it is. Now we must move forward as a community to ensure that those who committed this crime are held accountable and reminded of why these acts are so repugnant. We must also work to consciously educate our younger generations of our sometimes painful past, and the symbolism of racism and intolerance represented by a swastika.
It is often all too easy to move forward with our lives without remembering the difficult and intolerant periods of our history. As a community, it is our duty to remind our children and their children of these periods, as well as to teach and encourage them to cultivate a culture of tolerance and diversity, in hopes of never repeating such times.
It is ever important to do such as there has been a dramatic rise in hate crimes across New York State. These acts, whether it be graffiti on a public park, slurs towards another individual, or worse acts, are dangerous, hateful, and must be curbed.
So let us remind our children that there have been and remain, times in our world when individuals were and are persecuted for their religion, race, gender, and so on. The onus is on us to cultivate a generation more tolerant and accepting, to create a world free from hatred, racism, and intolerance.