Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness
Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness Previous Broadcasts
KQED 9: Sun, Sep 1, 2013 -- 6:00 PM
In the third program in this strand about communities standing up against hate crimes, the story is set in Patchogue, New York, an ethnically diverse working class village in Suffolk County. In 2008, a series of attacks against Latino residents ended with the killing of 37-year-old Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who had lived in the village for 13 years. Seven local high school students arrested for the crime admitted they were "looking for a Mexican" to beat up. Over a two-year period, the film follows Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, a 60-something Italian-American, as he leads a diverse group of residents to confront the anti-immigrant bias in their town and repair the fabric of their community life. The victim's brother, Joselo Lucero, and other Latino residents of Patchogue become leading voices for immigrants while working within the community to address local divisions. Faith leaders mobilize their congregations, and educators and school administrators develop anti-bias programs. The strife in this town mirrors some of the most complex and hotly debated topics in our country today. But the film provides a message of hope as civic leaders, students, quilting grandmothers, active librarians and store owners confront the crime and take action to repair a culture that has been torn apart by bigotry and fear.