Letter to the Rockville Centre Herald Editor (June 9-15)


RVC is home to the Proud Boys

To the Editor:

What makes a home? One definition (from collinsdictionary.com) is a place where you feel you belong because your ideas or attitudes are the same as those of the people who live there. It is a place of refuge. A place where you feel safe and accepted.

Rockville Centre is home to the Proud Boys — an internationally recognized hate group. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are five chapters of the Proud Boys in New York state. Only one is based on Long Island, and that chapter is in Rockville Centre.

In the past six months, the Proud Boys have twice marched through the streets of Rockville Centre with impunity. The first time, the Anti-Racism Project called for a rally — United Against Hate. We invited Mayor Francis Murray to speak at the rally. His words were strong and, in the days surrounding the rally, he said, “Hate is not welcome here, and it will be met with the full strength of our legal authority.”

After the group marched through Rockville Centre a second time, there were days of silence from Village Hall. Silence should never be an option. We must speak out against hate wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head. Silence implies acceptance. Acceptance is how one should feel in their home.

Rockville Centre is home to the Proud Boys. Is that what we as a community want? If it isn’t, then the mayor and the board of trustees need to take a strong and aggressive stand against this hate group. We as a community must stand together and denounce the Proud Boys, and demand more of our local representatives. Let’s not make this group feel they are safe and accepted here. Let’s reclaim our home — a home of togetherness, one of neighborly concern and a place where love wins over hate.

Anti-Racism Project, Rockville Centre