Anti-hate resolution proclaims solidarity
Ulster County lawmakers are expected to vote this evening on a resolution that expresses their solidarity with “Muslims and all those targeted” with hate speech based on ethnicity, race or religion.
The resolution was discussed during a Democratic caucus of legislators last week at which some members asked why Muslims were singled out in the wording.
“We all know what’s happening in the country,” said Legislator Hector Rodriguez, D-New Paltz. “There are some people being targeted. That’s the reality of it.”
The resolution notes there about 1,500 Muslims living in Ulster County among the more than 3 million nationwide.
“We are saddened and outraged at the recent escalation of hateful rhetoric against Muslims, those perceived to be Muslims, immigrants and all people of color, and we are particular concerned to see political figures and elected government officials leading this escalation and using it in order to gain power,” the resolution states. “In the face of extreme bigotry and violence, Muslim communities and their leaders are using the language and teachings of Islam to promote peace and justice and service, and their institutions are continuing to play an essential societal role providing charitable and humanitarian services to whose in need.”
The resolution does not mention Donald Trump by name, but Rodriguez said: “We have a president-elect who’s planning on deporting ‘certain’ people. It’s not good, it’s really not. These things have actually gone from ... bad to worse.”
Trump last year called for a temporary ban on allowing Muslims to immigrate into the U.S. He also suggested creating a registry of Muslims already living here, but his incoming White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press that “we’re not going to have a registry based on a religion.”
Trump has not proposed deporting law-abiding Muslims who are living in the United States legally.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently reported that hate crimes in the U.S. specifically targeting Muslims rose by 67 percent in 2015, according to The Associated Press.
Ulster County Legislator David Donaldson said it’s important to recognize that specific groups of people can be targeted for problems they have no control over.
“A lot of people get confused when they talk about Black Lives Matter; they go, ‘all lives matter,’” said Donaldson, D-Kingston. “Yes, all lives matter, but that’s not the point . ... I support veterans, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support anybody else.”