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Ex-governor accuses Hofstra of barring him from campus over Long Island casino support

Thursday 29 de February 2024 / 12:00

2 minutos de lectura

(New York).- Former Gov. David Paterson claims he was discriminated against and blocked from his law school alma mater Hofstra University because he supported opening a casino near the school on Long Island.

Ex-governor accuses Hofstra of barring him from campus over Long Island casino support

Former Gov. David Paterson claims he was discriminated against and blocked from his law school alma mater Hofstra University because he supported opening a casino near the school on Long Island.

Paterson, who now works for Sands Casino, claims Hofstra even blocked nonprofits from using campus facilities over their support for a gaming facility at the Nassau Colliseum hub — which the school has fiercely opposed.

Paterson also said the members of the groups mistreated by Hofstra happened to be predominantly black.

“They were all black events,” Paterson — the state’s first black governor — railed to The Post. “They [Hofstra] crossed the line.”

Paterson said he was asked to take part in a congressional forum as a panelist, but Hofstra wouldn’t allow it because of his advocacy for Sands. He said he wouldn’t have lobbied for Sands while participating in an unrelated community event on campus. “That’s my day job,” he said.

The university has successfully sued to block Sands’ deal with Nassau County’s government in court.

A Hofstra University spokeswoman responded, “Inclusion and belonging are central to Hofstra’s educational mission, and any allegation of discrimination is mistaken.

“Governor Paterson is an esteemed alumnus of Hofstra University, and he continues to be welcome on our campus as a visitor or panelist. Hofstra has already approved the congressional forum event, at which Governor Paterson is to be a panelist.  Hofstra does not co-sponsor events with casino, alcohol or tobacco companies or the like.

The university rep added, “It is noteworthy that these accusations from two Las Vegas Sands executives come three days after a NYS Supreme Court Justice granted Hofstra University’s motion for a declaratory judgment and affirmed that Las Vegas Sands has no leasehold interest in the Coliseum and the surrounding property, thus putting their casino development plans at risk.”

Paterson and NAACP Long Island head Tracey Edwards, who also works for Sands, claimed in a bombshell letter that Hofstra had restricted their access to the campus — and blocked nonprofits that have received donations from the casino.

“In recent conversations, we have been alerted that Hofstra University staff have stated that we are not allowed on the premises of Hofstra University without conditions because Sands employs us,” said the letter, addressed to board of trustees Chairman Daniel Schaeffer. “This is outrageous on many levels.

“It is a clear and open act of discrimination against one of your most distinguished alumni and the regional leader of the NAACP New York State Conference, an organization that fights for the equality and inclusion of all people,” they said.

The duo went further, saying groups funded by Sands were also being punished by Hofstra.

The fact that Hofstra is issuing ultimatums that they will strip not-for-profits of the use of Hofstra facilities for their events if they accept a sponsorship from Sands is despicable,” the letter said. “One would hope that an institute of higher learning would conduct itself more appropriately than a school yard bully.

“This is nothing short of heartbreaking,” the letter went on. “We have both fought for equal rights on Long Island for all its communities, and neither of us will sit idly by and watch your university President engage in behavior that only works to roll back the very progress we work so hard to create and protect.”

Paterson and Edwards said the chair of the board of trustees should “insist that any discrimination is counter to Hoftra’s stated mission.”

“While Hofstra’s continued practice of discrimination might be targeted against us, your actions impact the community members that Hofstra should be working to advance and support and that we have a responsibility to protect, not to mention your brand,” the letter stated.

“Let’s be clear: we know that our employer is Sands, but who we work for should not be a reason to discriminate or silence us as individuals or leaders in the fight for justice and equality,” it added. “Prejudice against anyone is prejudice against all of us, and these kinds of intolerable actions and statements create an unsafe environment for Hofstra University students, alums, and community members alike, which Hofstra’s Board of Trustees should not condone.”


Tags: Sin tags

País: United States

Región: North America



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