By Naeisha Rose
Glenn Greenidge, the executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard Improvement District, held another “Hate Has No Business Here” campaign Sunday.
The gathering on the steps of the Civic Court Plaza in Jamaica came a few weeks after the unrest in Charlottesville and the death of activist Heather Heyer on Aug. 12.
Heyer, 32, was in Virginia counter-protesting neo-Nazis and white supremacists, who were rallying against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. She was later hit by a car driven by suspect James Fields, who is alleged to have ties to the neo-Nazihate group, according to police from the Charlottesville Police Department.
“Given the national events taking place in Charlottesville, Va., we felt it was necessary to reinforce the stand that we are for our community and we are not alone with the other 21 BIDs around the city participating,” Greenidge said. “Queens being the most diverse county in the country, it is even more important that the resident population know that the business leaders of this community will not tolerate hate and intolerance of any kind.”
The purpose of the 21 BID movement, which also has chapters in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan, is to protect business owners and their customers from hate and bigotry, while promoting equal rights for all, according to Greenidge.
Throughout the event, Greenidge referred to Rufus King, one of the architects on the Constitution.
“The Constitution states: ‘The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges of citizens in the several states,’ ” Greenidge said, quoting King. “It did not state to be fearful because of your religion or skin color or sexual preference.”
Those who assembled with Greenidge held up the “Hate Has No Business Here” symbol during the event, which has the 50 stars in the American flag replaced by one heart.
Another King mentioned in his speech was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Greenidge said Dr. King “taught us a lot about non-violence and loving thy neighbor as ourselves. He said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ It is no wonder why the heart was chosen in our campaign. We at the Sutphin Blvd. BID stand united against hate.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose