August 17, 2016

Grains of Salt (v13): Wendy Long's "NY Values"

Who is this Wendy Long person, and why is she coming to Syracuse to sow the seeds of hate?

According to the slick video with it's appropriately doomy-gloomy soundtrack on her US Senate campaign website, here's her story.
I'm a wife, mother and an attorney. America has given me so much. I was blessed with great, hardworking parents, and I had a rare opportunity to learn from some of the best about what makes our country great. I clerked for one of them at the US Supreme Court (note - she's referring to Clarence Thomas).  
I believe in real New York values: individual freedom, hard work, personal responsibility, strong families, generosity to our fellow citizens, and love for our neighbors. I'm running for the United States Senate to bring those values back.
She goes on to quote the patron saint of GOP, Ronald Reagan, who I'm sure is spinning in his grave at what's become of the Republican Party.
Ronald Reagan said, "Government is supposed to be the people's servant, not its master." We have got to put government back in its place and let free people and free markets create opportunity and prosperity for all, not just the privileged few. And right now, in 2016, there's an energy I've never seen, to reclaim our freedoms and the limited self-government that our constitution gives us.
I won't hit her on the last part, but I do have to question the middle part, about hard work, personal responsibility, strong families, and particularly generosity to our fellow citizens and love for our neighbors.  Why? Because based on her tweets about Syracuse, she clearly has not watched her own video since it was filmed in her kitchen, and needs some reminding.

Here's what she posted about us.  The first tweet is a beauty, for sure:.
Welcome to Syracuse. Holy Trinity Church, beautiful church of German and Italian immigrants, is now a mosque.  
Pardon my language, but what the hell is that?

Ms. Long fails to tell her presumably avid followers that Holy Trinity had sat empty for a few years, leaving a gaping hole in the neighborhood, as the diocese of Syracuse started reconfiguring their real estate portfolio because of declining enrollment. 15 churches were closed.  It would likely still be empty today, had it not been rescued.

The North Side Learning Center is a non-profit group that teaches English to adults and children on the North Side, where immigrants - including the Germans and Italians Long mentioned -- have long found refuge and have long built a life for themselves and their families. Initially, they were interested in the school and not the church itself, but they got both for $150,000. It was then that talk turned to using the church as a mosque, and that Masjid Isa Ibn Maryam was born.

"Welcome to Syracuse" where we'll help you learn the language and allow you to practice your religion in an empty building built by people who came here and learned the language more than a century before practiced their religion. Horrible place we have here, I guess.

Here's another of the tweets from the woman who wants to replace Chuck Schumer in Washington.
Neighborhood where the mosque displaced the church. Crime prostitution money laundering. Nice Dem control of cities.
So, again, let's review the facts.  The church was empty -- so the only thing 'displaced' by the mosque was dust and cobwebs.

Next, the house with a street address of 2020 doesn't seem to put it in the neighborhood of the mosque, which is located at 501 Park Street. I'm not sure any of the streets in that neighborhood (I used to live not far from there) has numbers that go that high.

Furthermore, a search of the crime database shows a total of three reported crimes in the general area of the mosque, none of them prostitution or money-laundering. We do appreciate that you admit there's "probably not" a direct connection between the Muslims and crime, but did you share that with your Twitter followers? I doubt it.

"Welcome to Syracuse" where out-of-town politicians who know nothing about our community come to town, spew lies, and move on.  Yes, Wendy, I'm talking about you.

The last one of your tweets is the worst of all.

It's designed to inspire hatred and fear and, frankly, it says much more about you than it does about Syracuse. It says much more about you than your slick video ever could.
Crosses down, crescents up.  
That's so insightful, Wendy. Thanks for sharing.  But don't let the actual story get in the way of your hateful narrative.

Because the actual story is one of "individual freedom, hard work, personal responsibility, generosity to our fellow citizens and love for our neighbors," which you proclaim to be "real New York values" and which, I'm sure, you think you practice.

The story you missed on your visit here?  That the people running the mosque have reached out, over and over, to the neighbors and to former parishioners of Holy Trinity, and that they have invested time, money, hard work, well beyond what they ever thought they would do. That they have made the transformation from cross to crescent as respectfully as possible. That even the diocese is OK with the change.
The diocese acknowledges that changes to a former parish building may be difficult for some, however the building is once again being used to meet the needs of a growing population on the North Side, just as Holy Trinity Church did as it served the Catholic faithful.
And you know what? The whole Ronald Reagan thing? It was the free market that allowed the free people of the North Side Learning Center to create opportunity  and purchase the former church in the first place. So yeah, I'll hit you on that part too.

"Welcome to Syracuse," Wendy?  "Real New York values," Wendy? You say you talked to neighbors, but did you talk to any of the folks from the mosque? Maybe you were afraid one of those crescents was going to fall on your head?  Or maybe you were afraid that your hate and lack of knowledge would be exposed?

Thanks for stopping in Syracuse, Wendy.  Don't let our real New York values hit you in the butt on your way out of town.