Monday, February 14, 2022

Resolution Against Hate

In July 2021, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors passed unanimously Resolution 244-2021, "The Resolution Against Hate." It was sponsored by Clifford "Kippy" Wiegelt, the supervisor for the Town of Claverack.

There is now an effort afoot to get the municipalities within Columbia County to pass resolutions in support of the County's resolution against hate. So far, according to Michael Richardson of Hate-Watch Report, the towns of New Lebanon, Taghkanic, Germantown, Chatham, Hillsdale, Ghent, Austerlitz, and Livingston have passed such resolutions, although it is reported that in Livingston there were jeers from some members of the audience when the resolution passed. 

Hudson's anti-hate resolution was introduced at the informal Council meeting last Monday and will be voted on at the regular meeting of the Common Council tomorrow night. It seems unimaginable, to this observer at least, that the resolution will not pass without issue in Hudson, although on Monday, Alder Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward) did ask about the use of the word ability in the resolution's final paragraph. Similar resolutions in some towns have had different receptions.

In Stuyvesant, when asked about the anti-hate resolution at a Town Board meeting last week, Supervisor Ron Knott is reported to have said, "Luckily, Stuyvesant has no problem like that here." When pressed on the issue, he said, "We will take it under consideration, next time." 

The Town of Claverack, where white supremacist recruitment stickers first appeared a year ago, has chosen not to pass an anti-hate resolution. An op/ed piece by Stephanie Sussman that appeared in The River on February 2 reports: "The irony is that on January 31, the Claverack town supervisor rejected the need for a resolution against hate speech, although he sponsored the county resolution, which passed unanimously. A newly elected council member said we should just move on." Here is what the minutes for that meeting record:
Discussed a requested Anti Hate / Inclusion Resolution that had been adopted by Columbia County in July of 2021. The request was to adopt something similar at the local town level. Councilwoman [Katy] Cashen explained the resolution and shared a draft for consideration. Supervisor Weigelt responded by saying the county resolution already states, and is written in the resolution, that it covers all county residents. Supervisor Weigelt, who had voted for the resolution at the county level, thought it would not be necessary because town residents would already be covered in the county resolution. Councilwoman Cashen stated that she understood what the supervisor was saying but thought if it were passed at the town level, it would show the town itself also recognizes it and supports the intent and not just residents. Councilman [Douglas] Colwell stated that he agreed with Supervisor Weigelt and that town residents are already covered in the county resolution, and that Supervisor Weigelt already represented Claverack residents when he voted for it at the county level and that they should move on and not re-invent the wheel. . . . 
The reluctance on the part of these town supervisors and town boards to pass a resolution in support of a resolution passed at the county level is puzzling, to say the least.


  1. I suspect the use of the term "ability" is a typo for "disability." Hate on account of ability is a thought provoking concept I must admit.

    1. I don't think it's a typo. There has been some effort to replace the term "disabled" with the term "differently abled," and I suspect the choice of "ability" is a reflection of that.

    2. Thank you. Clearly, I need to get more.