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Gov. Cuomo Encourages Tolerance in Speech Given at Abyssinian Baptist Church

Gov. Cuomo & Chairman Prendergast Ride E Train
Gov. Cuomo & Chairman Prendergast Ride E Train via MTAPhotos on Flickr

As a result of our current state of nationwide politics, Governor Cuomo took time during Sunday service at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem to discuss New York's response when faced with acts of hatred and discrimination.

In his remarks, Gov. Cuomo addressed the need for tolerance when encountering our differences and stressed that viewing those different from us as enemies or subjecting anyone to discrimination and hate is counter to both New York and American values.

New York State, in many ways, embodies the American ideal. We are the laboratory of the American experiment in democracy. New York is the welcome mat to the world. Ellis Island is where generations signed the American compact. The Statue of Liberty stands in our harbor and New Yorkers hold the torch, and today, that torch must be held higher and that torch must shine brighter than ever before.

Regarding a practical response to the Trump administration's plans to deport 3 million and hate crimes committed in the wake of the election, Cuomo outlined his plans for both a special NY State Police unit to investigate potential hate crimes across the state and to provide legal assistance for any immigrants who cannot afford their own defense.

Gov. Cuomo had this to say about any potential mass deportation:

If there is a move to deport immigrants then I say start with me. I am a son of immigrants. Son of Mario Cuomo, who is the son of Andrea Cuomo, a poor, Italian immigrant who came to this country without a job, without money, or resources and he was here only for the promise of America.

If we deport immigrants then I ask, "Who is safe and who will be left?" Because we are all immigrants. If we deport immigrants then the only ones left will be the Iroquois, the Sioux and the Cherokee and the Apache. Otherwise remember, we are all visitors to this great land.

Read the full text of Cuomo's Sunday morning speech here.

The Governor's remarks came days after playground equipment in Adam Yauch Memorial Park was vandalized with swastikas and "Go Trump".

To report a suspected hate crime, use the New York Statewide hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. If you are in danger or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

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