Photo by Naeisha Rose
State senator James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) was at a rally at Kings Manor Park remarking on the unrest in Charlottesville and the unfortunate death of activist Heather Heyer on Tuesday.
By Naeisha Rose

People from different backgrounds, religions and creeds came out to King Manor Museum Tuesday night for a Rally Against Hate and Bigotry.

The event, held by the Queens County Young Democrats and its Caucus of Color, came in the wake of the tragic death Saturday of activist Heather Heyer, who died protesting against neo-nazis in Charlottesville, Va.,

The rally in Jamaica started with the QCYD members, elected officials and activists gathered in a circle as Rev. Phil Craig, the Queens president of the National Action Network, said a prayer asking for love to overcome hate in this country.

Throughout the two-hour rally, representatives of QCYD and the elected officials took turns giving speeches.

“I’m embarrassed for my country,” said Amir Abbady, the QCYD Vice President of Diversity and Outreach. “Every time [neo-nazis] make hateful speeches, I want us to talk about unity and diversity. Every time they show up to the polls I want us to outnumber them, 10 to 1. I never want to see this type of bigotry in our country again.”

State Sen. James Sanders Jr., a former U.S. Marine, drew onlookers from King Manor Park and passersbys with his speech.

“The best youth of America was in those counter protestors, beautiful people who perhaps didn’t have an individual stake in the [presidential] race,” Sanders said. “Benjamin Franklin said it best: ‘We are going to have to hang together or we are going to hang separately.’ ”

After condemning Charlottesville police officers for not doing enough to stop the alt-right demonstration that had members in military regalia and carrying lit tiki torches, Sanders talked about Heyer and her kind spirit.

“What a gorgeous human being,” Sanders said. “Her former boss said that anytime she heard of injustice … she had to personally get out there and do something about it.”

Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) refused to speak President Donald Trump’s name, but talked about how diversity makes Queens what it is today.

“His ignorance is only surpassed by those who follow him,” Miller said. “I’m not going to get into fear mongering, I’m not fearful here. We’ve demonstrated here that in the most diverse county in the entire country that we know how to live together. If you look at the folks here this is the template of the country, and a template for the world.”

Also at the rally were Deputy Borough President Melva Miller, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens), and representatives for Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), as well as the NAACP.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@
cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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