The revelation of racist and obscene comments by a Republican district leader at a Republican victory party in Yorktown were sad and disturbing but revealed that systemic racism is alive and well here and needs to be addressed honestly in a public forum like a Town Hall meeting.
The disingenuous apologies from Republican leaders and his removal from leadership are only intended to distance themselves from this disgusting behavior. For those who have short memories or are new to the area, I refer them back to The Northern Westchester Examiner of Oct. 31, 2017, which reported about two Republican racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic mailers before Election Day. Our current supervisor, then-Yorktown Republican Committee Chairman Matthew Slater, released this statement about the mailers: “Yorktown voters have a right to know that if elected Ilan Gilbert, Alice Roker and Vishnu Patel will turn Yorktown into a sanctuary town.”
These officials have never publicly apologized for these mailings, one of which also depicted a Jewish woman who was not running for office holding the puppet strings of the three Democratic candidates who happened to be African American, Jewish and Asian American. The time has come when these parties must take responsibility for the mailers, apologize for and disavow such statements, and most importantly, pledge to never use such tactics again.
If not, Yorktown residents should consider a recall campaign to make a strong statement showing that hate truly has no home here. This incident also reinforces the need for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative in our schools.
Melvyn R. Tanzman