Having represented Hispanic immigrants for the past 30 years in my practice, and written about Irish immigrants for the past 10 years in our annual Irish publication, I am literally sickened by the acts of the renegade teenagers from the Patchogue-Medford School District who desecrated our village streets with their evil presence. Repeatedly, I have found comparisons between the stories my grandfather and his fellow immigrants received seeking employment in the early years of the twentieth century: Irish Need Not Apply, and the hollow rhetoric that presently echoes from Brownsville, TX to Farmingville, NY and beyond: These People Are Taking American Jobs. The adage about the more things change the more they stay the same really rings home.
On Nov. 8, seven young men in concert with each other dashed the expectation that America has shed bigotry. Young men out to prove their manhood to each other, running in a pack that used a depraved attitude to prove to each other they were brave. Instead, they have proven to the world they are mindless, heartless cowards. Who could have raised them to be what they are? In this day, in this place, I must wonder who could have possibly made these young men such cowards without a conscience, and now cowards without a life to which they can ever again look forward.
Those who stand by silently allow this. We must raise our voices so they are heard clearly and strongly that such ignorant bigotry must never be tolerated. We must vigilantly remind the enforcers and prosecutors of our laws that the eyes of a community, a nation and indeed the world are focused upon Suffolk County.
Keegan & Keegan, Ross & Rosner, LLP
147 N. Ocean Avenue
Patchogue, New York 11772