Editorial: Making everyone feel safe

The Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force wants to work with the Greenport Business Improvement District to design stickers that will identify participating businesses as places that do not condone hateful language against any members of the community.

It’s a way for local businesses to let all residents and visitors to the village know they are welcome. It’s a concept that, under ordinary circumstances, no one would have much of a problem with. Except there’s no such thing as ordinary circumstances anymore.

One comment about the online version of this week’s cover story read: “R u kidding me??? OMG.”

“This is ridiculous. Come on people!!!” added another.

One more reader asked if that’s necessary.

Well, apparently so.

The idea emerged from last month’s Synergy Greenport meeting, at which several immigrant residents of the village and others expressed concern for the safety of the Hispanic population in light of the current political climate. What’s so wrong with a business assuring those concerned individuals that they should feel welcome within the confines of that particular store?

We hope the Anti-Bias Task Force and the BID are not discouraged by the remarks of a handful of individuals who are apparently pro-hateful language or are so anti-political correctness that kind gestures toward cultures other than their own cause them to immediately voice their disgust.

Hispanic residents comprise more than a third of the population of the Village of Greenport. If a significant portion of them feel unsafe, it’s the responsibility of community leaders to assure them they have nothing to fear in the place they now call home.

That’s something we should all be able to agree on.

File photo: Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force co-chair Sonia Spar, left, at Monday’s meeting. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

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