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Opinion: Sunnyside Rejects Hate, Cancel Saturday’s Pro-Police March

Queer Liberation March in Manhattan on June 28, 2020 (Photo: Emilia Decaudin)

Aug. 20, 2020 By Emilia Decaudin and Jesse Laymon –Opinion

We were disappointed and angered to read in the Queens Post this week of the plan by the 108th Police Community Council for a march through Sunnyside this coming Saturday.

As the newly elected Democratic District Leaders for Sunnyside and other parts of Long Island City, it is our responsibility to be aware of the sentiments of the voters in our neighborhood, and we can definitively say that our neighbors reject the hurtful symbolism of this planned march.

All political demonstrations such as marches are inherently symbolic actions—their literal slogans must be understood in the context of their time and place. And context can radically transform how we interpret a symbol.

A white dress can be innocuous attire; white dresses worn by dozens of Congresswomen are an unmistakable homage to the fight for suffrage. A hooded white robe can be a bathroom accessory; hooded white robes worn on horseback are an unmistakable threat of racist violence.

And in the context of the summer of 2020, a march by dozens of white residents through a city neighborhood “in support of our officers” must be interpreted as a thinly veiled embrace of the police killings of Black people across America.

No one who’s lived through the past four months should need an explainer on why police have been the focus of so much attention this summer.

Police in Minneapolis killed George Floyd. Police in Louisville killed Breonna Taylor. Police in Aurora killed Elijah McClain. After these and so many other horrific deaths at the hands of police across the nation, tens of thousands of citizens turned out to demonstrate against police violence. And in many cities, especially our own, police departments responded to these demonstrations with yet more violence—tear gas, body armor, billy clubs, and SUVs driven as weapons.

To organize a march now, given the context, in proud support of local police cannot be innocuous. This is not any ordinary year, and this march is not in observation of some annual police holiday or local tradition. Its symbolism is unmistakably clear: “we support police officers, even when they murder and maim.”

Perhaps the organizers of the march did not intend to be so blatantly hurtful and racist. Perhaps they’re out of touch with the events of 2020 or have been consuming only distorted right-wing media. Or perhaps they’ve internalized the twisted worldview of the bigot in the White House—whom the police union just endorsed this week—who promotes the false notion that wanton police violence is somehow helpful and justified.

If the 108th Police Community Council doesn’t intend to declare its support for the murder of Black people, there is still time for them to avoid doing so. Cancel Saturday’s march. And focus future events on how the local precinct can help the community, not how the community can condone the worst behaviors of police.

Emilia Decaudin and Jesse Laymon are the Democratic District Leaders for Assembly District 37, Part A, representing Dutch Kills, Ravenswood, parts of Long Island City, and Sunnyside.

Twitter: @EmiliaDecaudin and @JesseLaymon 

The Queens Post is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. If you’d like to submit one for consideration email us at: [email protected]

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Queens Post.

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15 Comments

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No free speech for me I guess?

No free speech for me I guess!
The
Next time you get mugged, your home broken into, a car demolishes yours at an intersection , we used to say, “Don’t call 911. Call a hippie!”
Yeah, i’m That old.

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Bizarro World

It’s almost comical how absurd this is. Supporting police is racist but supporting BLM, an organization that promotes hate and racism, is acceptable. A handful of high profile police incidents by a minuscule percentage of police justify the mass condemnation of all cops yet the highly disproportionate violent crime committed by some is taboo to discuss and dismissed with non sense excuses. Violent protest and intimidation by some gets a pass but any counter opinion is attacked with vigor because opposition and different opinions are a no no. What we are seeing is oppression of thought and beliefs via intimidation, manipulation, and misinformation. The majority see through this but it’s disgusting nonetheless.

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ProudLatina

I am a person of color. And my family will be participating. I am tired of people using the word RACIST to conjure up more hate, hostility and division among people. This is about supporting NYPD’s finest who are working their butts off to protect the people in the city especially those neighborhoods that need it the most…and made up mostly of black/brown folks…like me.

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FromLICQueens

What an arrogant, condescending letter. To sum up and try to diminish all policeman, the entire police force in such a way. This is such an instance of intolerance and prejudice, and it goes hand in hand will all the prejudice, the “labeling” of an entire group. It’s this way of thinking that has led to some of the great injustices and cruelty in the world. Here is under the disguise of being tolerant. That you ain’t!

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George Ost

Being a former police officer assigned to the 108 pct. , I find community support beneficial for everybody. During my time there, my colleagues & myself risked our lives everyday for the protection of EVERYBODY. EVERY LIFE MATTERED !! When somebody calls 911, the operator doesn’t ask what race they are, and when we arrived on the scene neither did we. The person who wrote this article should ask themselves what was their motive for turning a show of gratitude into a question of irrational thinking that residents are trying to avoid by showing that they see the positives in their local precinct.

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Jefferson's Ghost

Democratic District Leaders in Queens used to be useless, now they’re downright dangerous. Suppressing freedom of expression is a hallmark of totalitarian far-left fascism. You can’t support the police because the Bolsheviks said so. Think about that.

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Caucasian Rascal

George Ost: Well said. I remember your days as a cop when you were still on 35th Street. You were an excellent cop with significant medical skills. I remember when you saved a man from a heroin overdose while off-duty. The paramedics were following YOUR lead. Hope all is well.

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Anonymous

“Perhaps the organizers of the march did not intend to be so blatantly hurtful and racist.”

i dont know if the organizers are racist or not … but seems like you took a big leap and proclaimed them racist.
maybe the issue is…in times like these….everyone is a racist if they believe in support law enforcement?

will you let us know when its ok to do that again? it seems like you have your finger on the pulse

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Merman

A very big leap! It’s strange to me that the Left pushes others to be tolerant and accepting…so long as the Left agrees. Looks like Emilia Decaudin needs a reminder that not everyone thinks as she does. It’s absurdity to be completely anti-police and act as though ALL members of law enforcement have evil, bad motives. That’s the epitome of intolerant. Emilia, people will believe and support causes and ideas that you disagree with. Welcome to America. Get used to it.

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LICGreg

This is pathetic. “A thinly veiled embrace of the police killings” ??? So if I support our police, I embrace police killings? How about I just realize the BS these poor cops have to put up with and how our corrupt and racist mayor won’t let them do their job. Typical liberal. Unless it fits your narrative, it’s racist or unacceptable. Blue Lives Matter.

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