BY TRONE DOWD
Following a weekend of chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, frustrated young Queens residents joined their representatives in government at Jamaica’s King Manor Museum on Tuesday night to publicly disavow white supremacists.
The situation had escalated as counterprotesters showed up. The two sides clashed in the street, resulting in brawls and bloodshed across Charlottesville. The violence culminated on Saturday, when white nationalist James Alex Fields Jr. drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of antisupremacist protesters, injuring 19 and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Organized by the Queens County Young Democrats (QCYD), the Aug. 15 event gave people an outlet to voice their frustrations with violent protests that raged on in Charlottesville.
“To see the legacy of people like JFK or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., even the civil rights movement as a whole, be tarnished and drifted away from is very disheartening,” Stacey Eliuk, president of the QCYD, said.
“I never want to see this kind of bigotry in my country again,” said Amir Abbady, vice president of diversity and outreach for the QCYD. “Every time they march, I want us to march back. Every time they make hateful speeches, I want to talk about unity and diversity.”
“This happened because we did not show up,” he said. “We didn’t present the alternative vision for this country that we needed to. We have an opportunity to do this again this year, next year and in 2020. Every time there is an election, we need to be at the polls to ensure that we elect a government that represents all of us.”
“The best of America was in those protesters,” state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park) said in response to President Donald Trump’s statements defending white nationalists on Tuesday. “Beautiful people who, perhaps, didn’t have an individual stake in the race. Those of us who have studied history, we know where this road goes. We are not going back to those days.”
Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) said, “This president has emboldened this behavior. The biggest question that we have to ask ourselves is, ‘What is my role?’ Because everyone can play a part in what happens in our future.”