Recently, while driving down Plandome Road into Manhasset, I was feeling grateful for having lived in a beautiful, peaceful community for most of my life.
Unfortunately, I was blind to the sad truth which was prominently displayed on a large billboard in Mary Jane Davies Park and, in case you missed it, on a similar billboard erected in front of North Hempstead Town Hall which notified residents that our virtuous, elected officials were on a mission to root out “hate, intolerance or violence”.
Our “Betters” proclaimed:
“Not in our town
We pledge to
Not remain silent to hate,
intolerance, or violence.
Enough is Enough”
Shocked and dismayed, I was determined to uncover the source of Manhasset’s toxicity. Is it emanating from Munsey Park, Plandome or, heaven forbid, the Strathmore’s? Can it be that our small businesses, perhaps the cleaners, the pharmacists or the restaurateurs, decimated from enforced lockdown, are resentful and angry? Maybe the rumors swirling about the crowd who once caught the 7:27 into Manhattan are true. It can’t be school personnel who still receive their paychecks even though schools are closed and may not be open for a while. How did our enlightened leaders determine that seemingly peaceful residents who diligently pay their exorbitant taxes: tidy their lawns: greet each other on early morning walks and abide by voluminous rules, regs and edicts are actually harboring hate, intolerance and violence in their hearts and minds?
Searching for evidence, I called the Town of North Hempstead to ascertain the particulars of the cited toxicity. The patient young man who answered the phone was a bit flustered so he passed me on to a very competent woman who assured me that she was writing down every word and would pass my inquiry on to local officials who are dedicated to making us be our “better selves” by stamping out “hate, intolerance or violence” which apparently is festering just below the surface in our tranquil town.
I am still waiting for a response which makes me wonder why elected politicians whose job description includes maintenance of infrastructure and promotion of economic growth, find the energy and resources during these stressful times to lecture residents on hate, intolerance or violence. It appears George Orwell is alive and well.