STOP THE HATE
“Appalled.” “Furious.” Cowardly.”
These words have been printed in our media as we
try to bring attention to the alarming increase of anti-
Asian hate crimes in Queens and around New York City
But words alone are not enough. We hear residents
and politicians alike condemn these crimes, but actions
speak louder than words, and we need to take action and
work to put an end to this bigotry.
In Queens, the NYPD’s Asian Hate Crimes Task
Force is investigating a possible hate crime incident that
occurred in Fresh Meadows last week, when an Asian
American mother said she was spit at and called the
“Chinese virus” while holding her 2-year-old baby.
The 25-year-old woman told police that an unidentified
man spit in her direction three times before calling
her the derogatory term on the morning of March 9 at
186th Street and Peck Avenue near Kissena Corridor
Park. That incident follows a string of several anti-Asian
hate crimes in the borough, including a particularly heinous
incident involving a 52-year-old Asian woman, who
was allegedly shoved to the concrete ground by a man
outside a Flushing bakery. While that man was identified,
arrested and charged with assault and harassment,
too many of these incidents go unreported or unsolved.
And that must change. So, how can we help put an end to
these types of crimes? By standing together, supporting
each other and condemning these acts.
We have seen Queens officials host rallies around the
borough denouncing the hate crimes. And those rallies
are necessary and important — but they are not enough.
We need to see more action at the community level, and
that starts with local community boards.
Queens community board chairs Alexa Weitzman
(CB 6), Martha Taylor (CB 8), Betty Braton (CB 10) and
Michael Budabin (CB 11) recently issued a joint statement
taking a stand against the rise of anti-Asian hate
crimes in New York City and around the country since
the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We applaud their action as a positive first step toward
combating hate. But we are calling on community boards
— and the communities they serve — to do more.
Anyone who is the victim of a hate crime should report
it to authorities. Far too often these crimes are underreported,
and if victims don’t go to the police, they
should feel comfortable bringing it to the attention of
their local community boards or even their neighbors,
who can join forces and help bring attention to these incidents,
or even solve a case. After all, who knows the people
in their neighborhoods better than the person who
lives in your building, or who lives next door?
Only by reporting these crimes and making them
public, can we begin to weed out the “bad eggs” and
make a difference. Saying change is necessary doesn’t
make it so; acting on those words does.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.12 COM | MARCH 19-MARCH 25, 2021
PROPOSED HOSPITAL CUTS MAKE NO SENSE
Potential threats for reducing
capacity at St. John’s
Episcopal Hospital in the
Rockaways make no sense
when you look at past history.
Since the 1980s, I believe a
handful of Queens hospitals
have closed, including Little
Neck (previously known as
Deepdale) in 1996; Holliswood
in 2013; St. John’s in 2009; Kew
Gardens General in 1987; Parkway
in 2008; Mary Immaculate
in 2009; and Peninsula in 2014.
Developers and other investors
benefited from some of
these closings. Others could
make the case that this may
have been short-sighted when
thinking long term. This lost capacity
could have been helpful
in dealing with today’s ongoing
COVID-19 medical emergency.
We should learn from previous
experience and suspend the
closing or consolidation of hospitals
in Queens and New York
Why not convert any portions
of underutilized hospitals
to learning facilities for doctors,
nurses, dietitians and other
hospital employees? Or use
them as training facilities for
volunteer ambulance workers,
National Guard and other military
medical units? Or prepare
unused sections so they could
quickly become up and running
in case of emergencies?
As our population will continue
to grow and age over coming
years, now is not the time to
close any more hospitals.
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While elected officials have held rallies condemning the recent uptake in anti-Asian hate crimes in the borough,
more must be done at the community level to truly make a difference. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann