The Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District launched its “Hate Has No Business Here” initiative on Aug. 25 to show solidarity with Jamaica’s diverse community.
“Too many people in this community are living in fear,” said Glenn Greenridge, executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard BID.
To show solidarity, local shops have put up a small red sign at the entrance simply stating, “Hate Has No Business Here.”
“People are fearful because they are Muslims, they are Jewish, they’re immigrants, they’re refugees, they’re transgender,” Greenridge said. “The businesses of the BID and the surrounding businesses are deeply disturbed by the hateful rhetoric and violence aimed at different members of the community.”
Greenridge pointed out that the local Rufus King Park was named after a man who took part in the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and that, in the U.S. Constitution, there is nothing stating that skin color, nationality or sexual preference should prevent citizens from obtaining full rights.
“We send a clear message that we not accept this behavior,” said Greenridge of hate crimes targeting vulnerable populations.
He noted that Queens is a borough of immigrants and his parents are among them—his father is Guyanese and his mother is from Barbados. Greenridge wants customers to feel welcome when shopping along the boulevard.
The “Hate Has No Business Here” cards are available at the Sutphin Boulevard office, located at 89-00 Sutphin Blvd.