Letter: Housing integration would ease tensions

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A memorial for Eric Garner is shown near where he died after he was taken into police custody in Staten Island on Thursday on July 22, 2014 in New York City. Garner died after police put him in a chokehold outside of a convenience store. Photo Credit: Getty Images, National Action Network

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I've been reading about the racial conflicts in Staten Island and Ferguson, Missouri ["Unrest in Ferguson," News, Aug. 19]. These racial conflicts are never going to end unless we whites live together with blacks in the same neighborhoods.

In Germany, where I lived and worked for 20 years, the military families -- black, white and Hispanic -- worked and lived together in military housing called stairwells. People socialized and borrowed food, just like we do with our neighbors in the States. The biggest benefit was that the kids from the stairwells went to school and played together, from kindergarten on. This way, as adults, it wouldn't be unusual for whites to have black neighbors and vice versa.

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Another recent example is the redevelopment in Wyandanch. Two apartment buildings are being built with 177 units, and so far 1,500 people have shown interest. Wyandanch is known as a predominantly black neighborhood, so who do you think those 1,500 people are? White? I don't think so.

Wyandanch is predominantly black and will stay that way until we start thinking outside the box. That would be a start. From Wyandanch -- who knows? Maybe to Staten Island, and then, Ferguson.

Albert J. Prisco, East Northport


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