BROOKHAVEN, NY (CBSNewYork) – New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed a law prohibiting the display of hate symbols on public entities, such as fire and police departments and school districts.
The law was prompted by incidents last year on Long Island, where Confederate flags were hung.
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One of them was driven into a fire engine amid an increase in disturbing incidents. Swastikas were found in a police athletics league and a noose in a remediation yard.
Hochul responded to what she called a disgusting increase in racist and hateful behavior, by enacting a ban on hate symbols on state-funded property.
âWe have a lot of volunteer firefighters. We want to make sure that people in the community feel good about coming to volunteer and work there, âsaid State Senator Anna Kaplan of North Hempstead.
Kapalan sponsored the bill after a Brookhaven Fire Department truck was draped in a Confederate flag last year. The ministry then apologized and condemned the unauthorized act.
Another flag was hoisted at a fire station in Levittown.
The sponsors of the bill say that no one should have to interact with a symbol of hate in a place where all are equal.
A taxpayer, Carolyn Gusoff, of CBS2, spoke with Tuesday did not see the harm.
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âI’m against anyone telling anyone how to think,â said Angela Ucci, East Patchogue resident. âIt is a symbol of the South. But not all of the South is racist, and not all of the South talks about slavery, and all of that is long gone.
Women’s Diversity Network founder Shanequa Levin said it was a blatant symbol of division.
âIt’s horrible for so many different reasons,â she told Gusoff. âThey were fighting to keep your people in slavery, to keep my great-grandparents, to keep their parents and so forth in shackles, shackles, beaten and treated as less than human. It is the culture and history that they are trying to preserve with the Confederate flag.
The person who posted the photo of Brookhaven that went viral told CBS2: âIt is the symbol of the rebellion of the slave states. It represents racists and traitors to the nation and has no place on property belonging to taxpayers. “
There will be no criminal penalties, but the law gives the courts the power to have the signs removed.
A Trump banner was also hung in the Levittown Fire Hall last year. Albany is also considering a ban on political posters on municipal property.
On election day, and every day, of course, Kaplan says that people have the right to have their political views, but not to impose them on others in taxpayer-funded facilities that belong to everyone.
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The law banning hate symbols takes effect immediately.