Never mind! Santos cancels that Westbury town hall
After being rejected by other public venues, Rep. George Santos had finally landed on a time and site to hold a town hall on Friday — but now that event is canceled.
The rare twist here may be that Santos, famous for his fabrications, had an authentic alibi for postponement in midweek. Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he was keeping House members in Washington for an extraordinary Saturday session regarding the GOP threat of a partial government shutdown starting Oct. 1. By Thursday, caucus chaos ensued and McCarthy wasn’t calling them into session until Monday.
But the local forum’s cancellation was already announced Wednesday by Noelle Young, Santos’ press secretary. The event had been slated for Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Westbury Memorial Library in his district. Asked by The Point Thursday whether a new date has been set, Young replied: “Not yet.” She did not elaborate. An administrator at the library confirmed that the event was officially off.
Some protesters had been planning to show up and earlier this week even questioned the true purpose of an online sign-up asking the address in the 3rd Congressional District of those who wished to participate. All Santos’ public appearances come under a cloud: His pending fraud indictment is unresolved.
Nassau County Republican leaders who have called for his resignation for months say they will deny Santos the 2024 nomination anyway if he seeks reelection.
— Dan Janison email@example.com
A missing link
For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons
Back to the future of suburbia
The 1950s were a heady time for Long Island. The region was growing, the postwar building boom was in full bloom, optimism ran deep, and the suburbs were all the rage across the nation with Long Island as their exemplar.
So Newsday’s editorial board did not react well in 1954 when some sociologists saw a less-than-sanguine future for what they called New Suburbia.
In a Sept. 21 piece called “Take Another Look,” the board wrote, “Sociologists, whose job is to keep up with significant trends, often lose themselves in fads. The latest craze, judging by a pile of magazine articles, is to examine New Suburbia through a thick lens, dissect it and predict the worst for the future. This would be helpful if it were true.”
Leave aside for the moment the issue of how the board would “know” what is true or not about the future and note instead the source of the board’s consternation: “One of the most recent critiques suggests that New Suburbia’s youngsters run the danger of becoming ‘homogenized’ — as alike as the houses they live in. This school fears that because the typical new development family consists of a couple with one or two children, the offspring will grow up without seeing any elderly people or teenagers, without playing with boys and girls of other religions, races and nationalities, and in a home in which their parents are all wrapped up in trivialities.”
The second of those critiques — regarding whom children would be playing with — struck a nerve. The board said “either the sociologist’s lens is cracked or he is.”
“Unlike large cities, which were populated as a result of immigration waves — each from a particular nation or region — new suburban areas sprang up following wartime building restrictions,” the board wrote. “They provided homes for veterans. And there is no single group which embodies greater diversification. No, it is the cities which have their ‘Little Italys,’ ‘Chinatowns,’ ghettos and ‘Harlems.’ And it is the New Suburbias which are truly cosmopolitan.”
Nearly 70 years later, one can see that it was the board’s lens that was cracked. Those diverse veterans were separated on Long Island by building codes and real estate sales practices — white veterans to Levittown and Black veterans to Wyandanch, for example. The pattern repeated across Long Island as Black homebuyers and renters in particular were funneled into specific neighborhoods and many children never attended school with someone from another race. The legacy of segregated schools and communities runs deep on Long Island.
The editorial board’s point was echoed in a cartoon that day in which a professorial type in a tasseled mortarboard stares through a telescope labeled “SO-CALLED EXPERTS ON FUTURE SUBURBIA” at two ducks, one labeled “NASSAU” and the other “SUFFOLK,” with a caption that read: “We’re Okay! But What About You?”
The board’s conclusion left no doubt about its answer.
“We in Nassau and Suffolk have our problems but homogenization is not one of them,” the board concluded in that 1954 piece. “Parents on Long Island can well be proud of having pioneered their way to the suburbs where their children can grow up without the big city stimuli of marijuana, gang warfare and car-jammed playgrounds.”
Take another look, indeed.
— Michael Dobie firstname.lastname@example.org, Amanda Fiscina-Wells email@example.com