FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM NOVEMBER 8, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 37
A LOOK BACK
This photo from the Ridgewood Times archives shows the streetscape at the corner of Myrtle and St. Nicholas Avenues in Ridgewood, looking
northwest, in the 1930s. The building you see in the foreground knocked down years ago to make way for a restaurant. Other parts of the area
were later converted into a public plaza known as Venditti Square, named for Detective Anthony Venditti, who was gunned down at the restaurant
while conducting an investigation in 1986. Send us your historic photos of Queens by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: A Look Back) or mail
printed pictures to A Look Back, Editorial Department, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361. All mailed pictures will be carefully returned to you.
letters & comments
Silence is not an option
BY ALISON KELLER
I can’t shake the massacre in Pittsburgh
on Oct. 27. I feel so many things. Hopeless,
sick to my stomach, angry, fearful and
so desperately sad that hate crimes are
becoming a regular occurrence.
How to respond to such evil? Such
hatred? I don’t have answers. But I do
know that being silent on this forum of
Facebook is no longer tenable for me. (It
never was, and let me be clear: I never
believed it to be, but I let my discomfort
with sharing my self, my truth, my vulnerabilities
on social media grow into
I can’t tell you how many posts I started
to write — aft er the Charleston church
shooting, the Pulse nightclub shooting,
aft er the shooting of Philando Castile, aft er
Charlottesville, aft er the Portland train
Each time I started to write, I let my fears
of expressing my vulnerability, my fear of
saying it wrong, of not doing enough, of
not being enough, fear of my privilege discrediting
me, getting the better of me. Fear
of reactions I would get, fear of the non-reactions.
Fear of my post just dying in the
fast-paced world of social media. Fear of no
one caring about what I had to say anyway.
Well, I just can’t do that anymore. I can’t
accept that. Th is is too big. Th is is bigger
than my fear. I can’t give in to my fear and
silence any longer.
I say to my Jewish friends, colleagues
and neighbors — I am thinking of you, I
am grieving with you, although I know it
doesn’t do anything to lessen the pain and
the anguish you are experiencing.
I say to everyone who reads this post —
no matter your religion, race, ethnicity,
nationality, gender or background — what
happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue
this weekend is everyone’s problem. Th e
problem is the growing fragmentation, isolation,
fear and hatred growing in our society.
Th e problem is divisiveness and “othering”
of whole groups of people for their
thoughts, their beliefs, their identities, and
how they express themselves. I will not
tolerate this othering of people — at the
macro level or at the micro level. I will not
tolerate bigotry or hatred in any form, and
I will not tolerate hate speech and demeaning
speech in the many insidious ways in
which it is expressed — including jokes
and many other subtle ways that we perpetuate
bias and intolerance within our
Among the targets of the alleged killer’s
online vitriol was HIAS, the Hebrew
Immigrant Aid Society, founded in 1881,
which today is one of nine organizations
that works with the federal government
to help resettle refugees who come to
America. Please consider donating to the
organization in memory of those died in
Pittsburgh. You can do so on my Facebook
page or by visiting hias.org.
Alison Keller, an LGBTQ community
ally, originally posted this on Facebook.
com. Th is op-ed fi rst appeared in Gay City
News, which is owned by Schneps CNG, the
parent company of Th e Queens Courier.
THE NEED FOR
‘Look at Me!’
We are proud to say that this phrase,
shouted at a Republican Senator Jeff
Flake, defending the Supreme Court
nominee, Judge Kavanagh, accused of
a criminal and violent sexual attack, was
made by a woman from Queens — Ana
Maria Archila, co-director, Center for
She was one of many who had experienced
a sexual attack and was protesting
the cold, indiff erence to the testimony
of Dr. Ford and other victims who
were experiencing suff ering and pain.
Her bravery in her refusal to stay silent
in the face of the arrogance and political
self-interest of the majority of the
Congress was chilling to all fair-minded
citizens of our country.
Th is phrase, “Look at me!” speaks of
the attitude that the problem isn’t real
and has been frequently expressed.
But the bravery of these women
and the others who demonstrated and
marched is not in vain. Th is is what created
the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up”
movement and will build the momentum
needed to change the power structure
that has dominated this Congress.
It is the same thing with the phrase,
“I can’t breathe,” which Eric Garner, a
murdered victim of police brutality, said.
His words helped develop consciousness
about the excesses of a pattern of police
behavior as part of the “Black Lives
Individually, we may feel the pain and
frustration of these victims, but it is only
when we are part of a group working
together to demand action, like voting for
responsible lawmakers, will you see results.
We have a wonderful government, but
it demands citizen participation. You
must use your power or you will lose
all the precious battles we have won for
women and all citizens to claim their
Ann J. Jawin, Founder and Chair of
the Center for the Women of New York
THEY LEFT SOMETHING
OUT OF STATION FIX
Something was missing from recent
opening of the new Flushing-Main
Street LIRR station. No platform length
canopies were installed to protect riders
from rain, snow, sleet and ice.
Many other LIRR and Metro North
stations include platform length canopies.
Don’t LIRR Flushing commuters
deserve the same consideration?
Larry Penner, Great Neck
PREVENTING HATE IN
THE UNITED STATES
On Nov. 9, 1938, a wave of terror swept
across Germany and Austria, as gangs of
SA hooligans roamed the streets, looting,
burning and destroying thousands
of Jewish-owned businesses, homes and
This horrific action was called
Kristallnacht, “the night of broken glass,”
because of the thousands of windows
that were shattered in Jewish shops,
homes and synagogues across Germany
and Austria. Th irty thousand Jewish
men were arrested and sent to concentration
camps as well. Many Jews were
beaten and defi led in the streets as well.
Th is truly was the beginning of the
horrors to come for the Jewish people in
Europe — the extermination of 6 million
innocent Jewish men, women and
children, which was to become known
to the world as the Holocaust.
As the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht
approaches, we now see an increase in
anti-Semitic acts here in our country
over the last year, the latest being the
horrifi c mass shooting at that synagogue
in Pennsylvania, which took 11 lives, and
injured several others. What has happened
to human decency? Is there no
respect of all religious faiths in our country
any more? When will this madness
and mayhem fi nally stop?
Let’s hope that things will begin to
quiet down, and that people of all faiths
can work together to erase the scourge
of such hatred, because our country is
not about hatred — it is about freedom
and the rights of all religions to be able to
practice without fear.
John Amato, Fresh Meadows
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