Hate Crime A Direct Attack On Our Community, Says Ra

Statement by Assemblyman Ed Ra (21st Assembly District)
February 24, 2011

Three swastikas were spray-painted on the outside walls of the Best Yet supermarket in Franklin Square.

“As your Assemblyman in the 21st district, my job is to represent your views in the state Capitol. But there are some who want to force their twisted views on us. Our neighborhoods are ready to tell these merchants of hate that they will not succeed in dividing us.

“Last week, and for the second time in less than a year, an act of anti-Semitism was perpetrated at the Best Yet supermarket in Floral Park. Once again, the ignorant act of a black heart has tried to chase the light of understanding and tolerance from our community. Once again, the oldest hatred of modern times has been visited upon us. But the swastikas stitched into the brick of the building’s walls do not go deep enough to shake our foundation. A hate crime against one group of New Yorkers is an act of hate against us all.

“Let me be clear: The vandalizing of Best Yet supermarket and the swastikas directed against our Jewish friends and neighbors violated the strict laws we have against hate crimes in our state. I am calling on the concerned residents of Franklin Square and the surrounding community to join with me and local religious leaders to condemn hate.

“My thanks go out to the Nassau County Police Department for their work investigating this latest hate crime. If you or someone you know has any information leading to the apprehension and arrest of these hate-crime perpetrators, please contact the Nassau County Police Department at 516-573-7000 immediately. As always, I will continue to be in contact with local law enforcement until those responsible for this vile act are punished.

“We must end hate. The people who did this will be brought to justice. And the better angels of our nature will once again guide us toward brighter days ahead.”