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Politics

Pols react to racist tirade aboard Bay Ridge-Staten Island bus

Hate will not be tolerated in Bay Ridge.

That was the message conveyed by several local politicians this week in the wake of an incident in which a woman directed an anti-immigrant tirade at a Muslim woman aboard an S53 bus from Bay Ridge to Staten Island.

“Yesterday’s act of religious and ethnic intolerance, aboard a bus traveling from Bay Ridge to Staten Island, is beyond disturbing to watch and has no place in our society. I condemn the hatred and this completely un-American behavior, and trust that the New York City Police Department is investigating this matter,” said state Sen. Marty Golden in a statement.

“No one should ever have to endure or fear discrimination as they go about their daily life, simply because of who they are,” the pol added.

A short video of the incident posted on YouTube Wednesday shows a woman who identifies herself as “Ashley,” taunting a Muslim woman with a baby carriage, singing “You no citizen, You no citizen. You don’t speak English,” as the bus travels along the Verrazano Bridge.

As Ashley threatens to have the woman deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), she seems to respond, but it is not clear what she says. Before the video cuts off, Ashley shouts, “Immigration at the door. Oh wait, is that ICE? Oh mama, they here for you.”

District 43 Councilmember Justin Brannan also condemned the attack in a statement on Twitter.

“We are so much better than this,” he wrote.

In an email, Brannan told this paper, “Seeing that video made me disgusted, ashamed and embarrassed, not only for Ashley with all that fear and hate in her heart but also for those who stood there and said nothing. My office has been in contact with the NYPD and will continue to seek a resolution. We will also be sponsoring bystander intervention training in the near future. Now is not the time to be silent.”

According to the video’s uploader, the incident began after the Muslim woman entered the backdoor of the crowded bus with the carriage and accidentally triggered the door’s proximity alarm, leading another rider to shout an expletive. It was then that Ashley proceeded to launch her tirade. At one point during the video Ashley, who did not reveal her last name, faces the person filming.

“Hi I’m Ashley, if you’re taping me,” she declares. “I’m getting into a fight with some Muslim chick because she has an attitude. She thinks she has rights that she doesn’t have.”

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