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Thursday, November 29, 2007

NYC leaders unite against hate crimes

Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Swaranjit Singh was walking along Rockaway Boulevard in Queens when a young girl approached him and asked if he was going to bomb the neighborhood.

Someone then drove by and admonished the girl for speaking with Singh, a Bayside real estate agent who is Sikh and wears a turban, saying he was a "bad man," Singh recounted at a conference yesterday about hate crimes. Later that day, police stopped him as he walked to ask him what he was doing, and another driver made an obscene gesture at him.

Singh's painful personal stories of ignorance were among dozens shared by residents across New York as part of efforts to shed light on an uptick in hate crimes citywide over the past year.

"Ignorance creates fear and fear creates hatred," Singh said during a forum with Holocaust survivors at Queensborough Community College in Bayside. [Link]

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