‘Hate has no home in NY.’ Religious leaders decry rise in hate crimes
Hate speech and hate crimes have been on the rise across the country and in Hudson Valley since the war between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7.
In a speech at Columbia University on Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul says she has mobilized the state's resources to combat this concerning trend.
She has allocated $75 million in state grants, with $50 million earmarked for law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities in identifying, preventing, and resolving hate crimes.
Additionally, $25 million will be dedicated to bolstering security measures for at-risk community groups, cultural centers, and expanding the state police's social media analysis unit to monitor online threats. Local Jewish and Muslim leaders have expressed their concerns and fear in the wake of these incidents.
She underlined that the Jewish community has experienced heightened insecurity, while Muslim communities have witnessed a surge in hate crimes.
Religious leaders across the Hudson Valley say their people feel unsafe:
"The rise in race-based hatred has been astronomical," says Danny Schultz, of the Westchester Jewish Council.
Muslim communities are fearful too. "We now have the highest number of hate crimes against Muslim Americans ever," says Dr. Nadia Amin, Hudson Valley Islamic Community Center
Shultz and Amin agree with Hochul that that hate has no place in New York and applauded the state’s willingness to use grants to reinforce security measures and combat hateful acts.
"We're going to have to monitor very closely the kind of hate speech that can lead to hate action and take it seriously," says Schultz.
"Hate has no home here in New York and the only way that we're going to eradicate it is to call it out and to stand up for one another," says Amin.