Will someone please explain to me why the term 'Mafia Block' is not only accepted but defended by Mayor Sean Murray in the Village of Buchanan?
The Village Engineer, George Pommer, stated at the June 4, 2012 Village Board meeting that it was an "industrial term". The Mayor felt there is nothing wrong with the term and noted that "the U.S. Army uses the term".
Two Italian American Village residents were offended by the slur, and proceeded to express their concerns and objections regarding the use of the derogatory terminology. Rather than the respect and apology due them, the Village officials continued to ridicule and harass those residents. At that June 4th meeting, the term was used 14 times by Village officials who insisted there is nothing wrong with the words and will continue to use them.
Webster Dictionary defines 'Mafia' as "an alleged secret society of criminals in the U.S. and other countries". The word 'Mafia' itself or the term 'Mafia Block' is an affront and attacks the dignity of Italian Americans.
Years ago, many words were used that were hurtful or disrespectful to many peoples of different nationalities. Today we are above that and acknowledge the insensitivity of such remarks.
The Buchanan Village Board owes an apology not only to Italian Americans but to all Village Residents who expect and deserve respect at every Village Board Meeting.