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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

My sadness is overwhelming at the shocking state of our presidency. Yes, I had believed that our president of the United States represented all of us. In a week in which we remember the great Martin Luther King Jr., it’s ironic that racial hate is the focus.

It’s been only a few decades since the monster Hitler ruled much of Europe with hate. My family fortunately had left Russia and Austria before the massive herding of the Jews into concentration camps and the desperate migration of millions of refugees to America began.

Many believe more people could have been saved from the concentration camps if President Roosevelt had acted more decisively. A president’s powers are enormous, and now we see hate for groups of people instead of sympathy for a sad situation in which the people living in Haiti, Central America and Africa find themselves through no fault of their own.

Our city is a brilliant sample of the world, where peacefully, we all live side by side. At Flushing High School, there are more than 130 languages spoken and rarely an incident.

Having traveled around the world, I have learned that, no matter whether they are rich or poor, whomever I meet wants a job, a home, a family and to love and be loved.

I’m embarrassed for my children and grandchildren that our president has made such damning remarks about countries where we know great people live.

What has happened to us that we are not the country that Emma Lazarus wrote about in words immortalized at the base of the Statue of Liberty? Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. Those words must never be forgotten. We are too great a country to abandon our heritage and founding ethics.

Write, speak up and be heard, and make it clear that discrimination of any kind is not “our” way.

Good luck to a dear friend

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Monday evening, Cheryl Wills began her daily news program, NY1 Live at Ten. It will run from 10 to 11 featuring the news of the day across the five boroughs. Cheryl is an author, and a nationally recognized, award-winning journalist for the station.

I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago when she helped me emcee and was honored by us at our Power Women event. We began a friendship and I learned we had in common a fierce loyalty and concern for people with disabilities. Her brother and my daughter both had special needs and we both have fought and continue to fight for their rights.

Cheryl has written books for children. One is about her heritage, telling the story of her great-great-great-grandfather who was a slave. “The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wilson” dramatically but simply tells the tale of his journey. Then, recently, Cheryl penned other books about her brother’s struggles. Both are great, insightful and thoughtful books.

Her new anchor seat is in the hands of a true professional who earned the position by her award-winning coverage of our great city since the cable channel began in 1992.

Having been interviewed by her last year, I can attest to her warmth, intelligence and preparation. Our city is in for clear-headed, smart and savvy coverage by a true professional. Stay tuned and tune in.

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