As hate crime reports have spiked across the country following the election, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to do something about it in his Sunday address Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church.
He pledged to form a special police unit to respond to the “explosion of hate crimes” in New York state and a legal defense fund for immigrants who fear prosecution under a Trump administration.
“With trained professionals we will investigate every incident and prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law,” he said after listing off chilling finds, such as KKK fliers on parked cars in Long Island, a swastika on the B Train in Manhattan, and a swastika with the words “Make America White Again” in Buffalo.
“Hate crimes are not just sins, they are illegal,” Cuomo said.
In his eyes, the post-election America is suffering from a crisis of character. President-elect Donald Trump wasn’t specifically mentioned although Cuomo and fellow democrat New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have been crusading against Trump since he won.
“The ugly political discourse of the election did not end on Election Day, in many ways it has gotten worse, into a social crisis that now challenges our identity as a state and as a nation and our people,” he said.
As for his planned legal defense fund for those who fear Trump’s campaign promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, Cuomo said it would be a public-private partnership “to provide immigrants who cant afford their own defense, the legal assistance they need.”
Cuomo concluded his remarks with the assertion that New York “still knows what America is supposed to be.”
New York still knows what America is supposed to be. And we must shout it from the mountain tops. We must provide guidance to this nation.
We must stand up and say, “You spread fear and we will spread love.”
We will stand up and say, “You try pull us apart and we will stand stronger for each other.”
We will stand up and say, “Yes we are black, white and brown but we are one.”
We will stand up and say, “We are gay and straight but we are one as a community.”
We will stand up and say, “Yes we are Christian, Muslim and Jews but we are one.”
We will say, “Yes we are individuals but we are also one community. One family.”