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Clash at Bay Ridge’s MLK Day ‘solidarity’ march

Solid as a block: A block-long line of locals march in solidarity.
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Bay Ridgites clashed at a march intended to unite the community on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Hundreds walked along Fourth Avenue in a “protest against hate” condemning Donald Trump’s election, citing the president-elect’s vitriol against immigrants, Muslims, and women. But a half-dozen conservative locals formed a counter-protest and challenged organizers, who they say overlooked the hate levied against law enforcement and average white people.

“They were leaving out hate against the police, hate against the white working-class,” said Liam McCabe, a Republican and community activist who felt he was joining the march rather than protesting it. “I thought their description of hate was very black and white. And I think the reality is, it’s much more nuanced, and so we wanted to challenge their narrative, but march in solidarity. Especially on a day like Martin Luther King day, we wanted to say that there is another side to hate and not everyone accepts their vision of what hate is.”

Ironically, some peace demonstrators hurled insults at McCabe and crew, some onlookers said.

But the contradictory conservatives were asking for it by bringing what appeared to be an intentionally divisive message to the party, another demonstrator said.

“It misses the point, because the whole idea of the march was to support solidarity — to come together as a community,” said Bay Ridgite Cem Kurosman, who came out with his wife and daughter. “There’s not a lack of support for the police, there’s a lack of support for solidarity. It certainly goes nowhere hurling insults back and forth.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.

Updated 2:16 pm, January 19, 2017
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Reader feedback

Alessandra from Bay Ridge says:
Individuals with superficial knowledge of a topic or subject may be worse off than people who know absolutely nothing.

The root of the problem is when one decides to hurl an insult at someone else simply because of a difference in opinion. There isn't any sense in hate, nothing good or productive can come from it. It is very true that all lives matter, whatever the color; just as being a law abiding citizen matters. Takes more energy to hate than it does to love. Granted not everyone is always going to get along, but being disrespectful only displays sheer stupidity.
Jan. 18, 4:55 pm
Maggie says:
Muslim Republicans!? Can you say cognitive dissonance?
Jan. 18, 9:16 pm
Woke in Dyker says:
Mcabe subscribes to the naive premise of “All Lives Matter” because he lives in a predominantly white area where the majority of his social group is white. It is clear Mcabe hasn’t had the best seat in the house for the centuries-long movie called “America’s Treatment of People of Color.” In fact, it would seem Mcabe wasn't even in the theater at all. What Mcabe doesn't seem to grasp is that he is broadcasting to others that change isn’t necessary when it very much is. He literally does not see the disparity in how his racial group is treated compared with others. How anybody could be that blind I do not know.
Jan. 18, 11:54 pm
Carole from Bed-Stuy and Jamaica, W.I. says:
Terrorist groups like the KKK and ISIS and Black Lives Matter are an insult to the blessed memory of Dr. King.
Jan. 19, 11:43 pm
George says:
Mccabe did a good job here hijacking their positive news story about the march but I think it only promotes him to more people as a buffoon so I think it was a bad move
Jan. 21, 2:58 pm

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