Anti-Hispanic Bias from Huntington's "Anti-Bias" Task Force
by Maureen Daly
A reform of the Town of Huntington's "Anti-Bias Task Force" brought-out a show of angry anti-Hispanic bigotry from several of the Task Force's white former members, at the November 17th town board meeting. This was the second public outburst of anti-Hispanic bias from the supposedly "anti-bias" group in less than a year.
At the November 17th meeting, several former members of the task force - all white leftists - denounced the Board for having appointed five new - mostly minority - members to the Task Force. The five new Task Force members were appointed - one by each member of the Town Board - pursuant to the town code - at the Board's November 3rd meeting. All Town Board members voted for the appointments - including Democrat Joan Cergol.
"You have destroyed this task force," shouted Helen Boxwill, a white radical and former member of the task force, at the Town Board. Boxwill was upset that she - and her mostly-white radical colleagues - had been replaced by mostly-minority Republicans.
The former members then insulted the Town's Director of Human Services, Carmen Kasper - a Hispanic woman - of not being intelligent enough to write a short "notice letter" announcing the Town Board's new appointments to the Task Force. "You couldn't write that letter" they shouted.
Kasper left the meeting visibly upset, and had to be consoled by Town Attorney Deborah Misir and Clerk Andy Raia.
The "anti-bias" Task Force was used as a political weapon last year by its longtime patron, former Councilwoman Susan Berland (D), who made false election charges of "anti-Semitism" against her Hispanic election opponent.
In that 2021 election, Berland falsely accused Republican Manny Esteban of being "anti-Semitic" - for him simply quoting a Bible verse calling for ethical government.
Berland charged "He called me a 'Dirty Jew'" - when he had done no such thing - and contacted her friends on the anti-bias committee to politically back her up.
This newspaper - and others - denounced Berland, stating "After the millions murdered in the Holocaust, fake charges of 'anti-Semitism' - in a self-serving effort by a low-brow local politician to whip-up an ethnic political vote - are not just distasteful, they are a betrayal of the millions who died at the hands of real anti-Semites. Berland did a disgusting thing, and should never hold political office again."
Berland - who had held office for over 20 years - lost the 2021 election to Esteban. She ran again this year for NYS Senate against Senator Mario Mattera, and again lost, this time by nearly 20 points.
Rather than condemn Berland - or just stay out of a political election - the town's anti-bias task force - a branch of the Huntington town government - doubled-down and repeated Berland's false charges of "anti-Semitism" - and then went to the extreme of demanding that the Town of Huntington bar now-Legislator Esteban from ever entering Town Hall.
Those extreme and bigoted actions by a task force - described as "insane" and "out of control" by one Town Board member - spurred the Town Board to reform, and to replace the former Task Force members with new appointees.
"Slander and defamation from an official task force - an office of the Town - exposes the Town to legal liability," noted civil rights attorney Mark Demetropoulos.
Only Councilwoman Joan Cergol (D) re-appointed a former member - a white left-wing activist named Eve Krief, who was one of the group berating the Town Board and insulting Kasper at the November 17th meeting.
Krief has led street protests in Huntington, demanding "gender affirming" trans-gender LGBTQ treatments for children, BLM marches against the local police, and to protest against enforcement of border security on the US-Mexico border.
Boxwill is a race radical and self-described "activist" who gives lectures on "white fragility," "white supremacy" and "white racism." According to Boxwill, she was trained by the neo-Marxist "People's Institute" out of New Orleans.
Councilwoman Cergol has now proposed another law - to re-appoint Boxwill and the former left-wing extremists of the Task Force. Cergol is running for re-election next year - in 2023.