A family mourns today. A community mourns today. And I, as a New Yorker, mourn today.
I do not mourn for a man I did not know. I mourn for the family he leaves behind.
I mourn for the children who will grow up not only with the knowledge that their father was brutally murdered , but with the pain of knowing that people were able to treat his death lightly.
I mourn for the generations of human beings those children will bear who will be scarred by the callousness of a newspaper, but more than that, I mourn for New York.
When did New York become a place where human life is not valued? When did our city become a place to gain a laugh at the expense of others? Knockout attacks — inspired by a video game — declare that human suffering doesn’t matter, yet we all know the pain they cause. Now, ruthless murder is condoned, even lauded, just for a glib headline?
The New York Post’s irresponsible reporting, suggesting that these cold-blooded murderers did society a favor, further encourages such a callous attitude toward the value and sanctity of human life.
Menachem Stark is not here to defend himself. The only ones here are the mourners, the children who will grow up without a father, the community who knew of the good that he did.
And we are here. We are the witnesses to this devaluation of human life. We are the witnesses to this act of greed perpetrated by a newspaper representing us as New Yorkers.
I challenge all of us here today to rage against this insensitivity, not merely by letting the New York Post you’re offended, but by determining not to fall into the same trap.
Let’s show the world that the Post’s heartless attitude doesn’t accurately reflect what New Yorkers are made of. We are kind; we are sensitive; and we are not afraid to sacrifice some our own success for the benefit of others.
As the perennial slogan testifies: “I Love New York” — because it always has a heart.
Shea Rubenstein is the Executive Vice President of the JCC of Marine Park