A tale of two vigils


To the editor:

An answer to the community is needed for why at two vigils to bring neighbors together in light of the recent national tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, one would include and one would exclude local elected officials.

Both vigils that occurred at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, and Monday, Aug. 14, were purported as venues for the community/neighbors to gather and express solidarity against hate and the acts of terrorism executed by white supremacists and nationalists, as well as to show sympathy for the deaths and injuries that occurred recently in Charlottesville.

Sunday’s vigil — sponsored by the Interfaith Clergy Council of Riverdale, Kingsbridge and Spuyten Duyvil — at Bell Tower Park, walking distance from Fieldston (an affluent neighborhood) heard comments and statements from some local elected officials or their representatives along with clergy.

Monday’s vigil sponsored by Bronx Climate Justice North, however, at the corner of West 231st Street and Kingsbridge Avenue in front of the Church of the Mediator memorial — walking distance from the Marble Hill Houses, managed by the city’s housing authority — heard from clergy and community members, but was missed by the voices of the local elected officials or their representatives.

I was told that elected officials were not encouraged to attend the vigil on Monday. 

Needless to say, this was a lost opportunity by local elected officials to speak to these constituents and voters, although it was hard to hear speakers at either event — megaphones are needed.

It leaves an open question in my mind as to why the local elected politicians or representatives did not speak at Monday’s public gathering.

Roberta Todd

Roberta Todd,


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Jennifer Scarlott

I'd like to clarify what transpired at the August 14 vigil in solidarity with Charlottesville, organized by Bronx Climate Justice North, at W. 231st St and Kingsbridge Avenue by the Church of the Mediator.

In the letter above, the writer says that the Sunday, August 13 vigil at the Monument in central Riverdale included local elected officials, whereas elected officials were "excluded" at the Monday vigil in Kingsbridge. She questioned why elected officials were not heard from at the Monday event. It is correct that no particular attempt was made to inform local electeds of the Monday evening vigil, though we passed out flyers about it at the Sunday vigil. As the person running the event on Monday evening, I was approached by several surrogates for local officials during the event, requesting the opportunity to read a statement. I let the crowd know that they were there, and asked whether folks would like to hear from them, or have them listen, thereby giving more time to the public to speak. There was an enthusiastic consensus for holding the time for the public. We also heard from three wonderful local clergy leaders -- Andrew Butler of Christ Church Riverdale, Loyda Morales of Church of the Mediator, and Doug Cunningham of New Day Church. It was a large, diverse, passionate crowd, many of whom expressed an intense desire for progress toward racial justice in our communities and country, and grief for those who lost their lives in Charlottesville. We felt it was important to have the event in a central spot where people from the three neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Kingsbridge, and Riverdale could easily gather. The event felt like an old-fashioned, impromptu, "village green" town hall. I hope the future will hold many more like it, as our communities grapple with the destructive politics emanating from the White House.

Jennifer Scarlott, Coordinator, Bronx Climate Justice North

Friday, August 25

Waiting for JS and her friends to condemn what is shown in this video


Monday, August 28
Jennifer Scarlott

You have troll-like proclivities. I wonder what, in my comment above, would lead you to think I am an adherent of antifa?

It's good to think past assumptions and stereotypes.

Monday, August 28

I never used the word adherent to describe you in any way shape or form, but if you only denounce (correctly) the idiot Neo-Nazis and Schmucky White Supremacists and don't acknowledge and condemn the violence from the left (Antifa) then you make me suspect of your motives.

Are you willing, after watching Antifa attack innocent people, call them nazis and then dump urine on them, to keep silent about this? I called out the fringe, extreme minority White supremacists in my first posting. I don't see any equal treatment of Antifa by you or your friends.

Monday, August 28

And of course crickets from the social justice brigade, proving that in their inability to denounce hate and violence from the alt-left that they are pushing a destructive social agenda on us of divide-and-conquer and thus need to be given the widest berth possible.

Come on social justice warriors, even Chris Hedges came out with a scathing article on Antifa at Truthdig. It's time to denouce these losers, come together with disaffected Trump voters and Bernie voters and make sure that next time around we aren't given the choice between bad (Trump) and horrifying (Clinton).


Tuesday, August 29