Almost every day we read about a hate crime at some location in Westchester and the region. Yesterday there was a report of a menorah, church windows vandalized in Westchester (see link). Earlier this week a large cross was destroyed on a mountain in the area. The stabbings in Monsey over a week ago of Hasidic Jews received international attention and outrage. Locally, swastika's have been found in schools around the county, in parks - in public places. Many incidents in 2019. In October a man wearing a swastika cap was spotted at a bagel store in Ardsley. In October, 2018 a swastika graffiti was found on a sign in Ardsley.
Today - at 2 PM - there will be an important No Hate/No Fear: An interfaith service to condemn Antisemitism at Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown. The temple invites the community to attend.
I am again renewing a suggestion I made last year for a public county wide data listing of all hate crime incidents so that prosecutors, local officials and the public can better understand the extent of the problem and the successes the police have in finding those guilty of offenses.
The data base should include a summary of the incident and the date. Was an arrest made? If yes, was there a conviction and what was the punishment? Who was the Judge who sentenced the person convicted of a bias crime? I believe that the State Legislature should impose minimum punishments against those who commit hate crimes.
We frequently hear of the incidents but there is not much public follow up on whether the police caught those committing the hate crime--especially if it was not violent. If those who deface property with hateful graffiti would know that there is a strong possibility of getting caught and if they were aware of punishments - they might think twice before committing the act. We can't look the other way. Non violent hate eventually motivates others to violence as we saw in New Jersey and Monsey.