A FUND-RAISING event for the Republican Party, attended by the United States presidential candidate Donald Trump, has been condemned as “disgraceful” for taking place close to the spot where a migrant worker was stabbed by white teenagers in a race-hate crime.
The victim, Marcelo Lucero, aged 37, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was murdered by a gang eight years ago in Patchogue, Long Island, in New York.
A vigil attended by church leaders, and Joselo Lucero, the brother of Marcelo, was held on the site of his murder during the Republican fund-raiser this month. Supporters listened to messages of solidarity with migrants, and sang hymns.
The Bishop of Long Island, the Rt Revd Lawrence Provenzano, wrote in an open letter to residents of the area that “in the face of the reckless and hateful attitudes portrayed by some in this political season, there are many more people of good will and faith that stand with you against the toxic, irresponsible rhetoric of some of the candidates for president”.
The choice of location for the fund-raising event for Mr Trump was, he said, “calculated and disgraceful”.
“It is my job to oppose evil, ignorance, and sin,” the Bishop said. “This ‘political event’ in Patchogue meets all three criteria. Either the organisers are ignorant of the days when there appeared to be open season on immigrants — especially day-workers and their families — or the entire event is designed to reignite the hatred that existed, and use it for political gain.
“Either way, you should know that the Church stands with you. And we will continue to stand with you, as in the past, against the ignorance and violence of those who focus on hate, and seek to draw others into their fear of people who are different from themselves.”