FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yorktown, New York, November 10, 2021 – Yorktown for Justice (YFJ) denounces the racist remarks targeting Yorktown Town Councilman Vishnu Patel at a Yorktown GOP victory party held on November 2, 2021 and calls for formal policy measures to address systemic racism and other forms of bigotry in Yorktown.
In a video posted on the Yorktown GOP’s facebook page (since removed), Yorktown resident and GOP District Leader, Tom Pomposello, is heard saying “Vishnu’s gone…That mother****r. That fu****g sand n****r.”
Mr. Patel, an Indian-American Democratic Councilman and father of 2 Yorktown alumni and graduates of West Point, was an award-winning IBM scientist for decades before entering public service as Yorktown Councilman in 2010. He was recently defeated in his reelection bid. In a statement to the public, Patel said “It is not surprising that one individual at a Republican gathering should shout out a vile obscene remark about my nationality,” citing the propagation and normalization of anti-Asian rhetoric under the Trump administration. No GOP members surrounding Pomposello censured him until the video was made public.
This incident is the latest in which the Yorktown GOP has come under fire for scandals, and racist and prejudiced acts including xenophobic, anti-semitic and racist GOP mailers in 2017. Yorktown Republicans, including Town Supervisor Matt Slater, have condemned Pomposello’s words, who has since resigned as district leader. Despite issuing statements denouncing racism, the town of Yorktown has not supported anti-discrimination programs, policies or educational measures. Additionally, town officials have aligned with local chapters of national advocacy groups opposing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) measures in schools, despite Lakeland and Yorktown Central School Districts’ alumni and students repeatedly detailing their experiences of discrimination to school boards. Yorktown resident Maura Gregory says “As a parent of Black children who grew up in this town, I know this is not an isolated event. There is racism in Yorktown that needs to be addressed.”
Yorktown for Justice calls on local government to convene a town hall meeting led by a DEI professional; to provide robust and ongoing diversity training for employees and members; and for the Lakeland and Yorktown Central school districts to accelerate stalled DEI efforts including training and diversifying staff and curricula.
About Yorktown for Justice
Yorktown for Justice is a grassroots community group dedicated to advancing equity and justice for residents through charity work, public education and advocacy in Yorktown, NY and beyond.
Visit us at: yorktownforjustice.org.