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Trumping hate: Myrtle Ave. shopkeepers promote inclusivity with new campaign

No hate: Amanda Neville, owner of Tipsy at 584 Myrtle Ave., created the “Hate Has No Business Here” campaign to unite local merchants against intolerance.
Brooklyn Paper
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These vendors are in the business of love.

Dozens of merchants along Myrtle Avenue are pacifying the corridor by displaying signs that read “Hate Has No Business Here” in their shops’ windows as part of a campaign to unite Fort Greene–area businesses against intolerance that shopkeepers said arose in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election as President.

“It seemed like someone popped open a bottle of hate after the election, and people felt the need to verbalize anything they thought,” said Kym Rodgers, owner of The Brooklyn Sweet Spot at 366 Myrtle Ave. between Adelphi Street and Clermont Avenue. “Peace needed a voice at that point, and people wondering if my shop wasn’t welcome to them because of how they look or speak needed to know that it is absolutely a safe space.”

Rodgers’s pastry shop is one of many establishments promoting the anti-hate campaign, which was organized by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership — a group that works with small businesses located on the street — and launched on July 4. The idea for it came from a neighborhood shopkeeper, who brought it to the partnership in February after the owner of another area store was the target of an online hate message.

“There were activists doing different things such as holding fund-raisers and hanging signs in their windows, but I felt we’d be stronger if we were on the same page,” said Amanda Neville, proprietor of wine shop Tipsy at 584 Myrtle Ave. between Emerson Place and Classon Avenue. “That way we’d be more united, and have more of an impact.”

Neville worked with a graphic designer to create the movement’s official image, a likeness of the American flag with a heart taking the place of the 50 stars, which is displayed next to translations of the motto in various languages on signs that hang in the windows of all participating businesses. The posters show members of the area’s diverse community that the owners of their favorite stores stand with them, she said.

“Many of our community members are minorities or immigrants, and some fall in both groups, so we wanted to show them these are safe spaces, and that we’re not just going to ignore intolerance,” Neville said. “We’re engaged, and we have decided to be proactive in a positive way.”

The activist and entrepreneur said other neighborho­ods’ business improvement groups already have recognized the campaign and are working to bring it to their areas, and that she hopes the movement’s inclusive message will spread among merchants outside of New York City, too.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.
Updated 5:57 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Karen from Clinton Hill says:
What "hate" are these ladies talking about? The blanket hate against Donald Trump? Everyone hates him and everyone feels free to express the depth of their hate anywhere, everywhere and all the time. If there are any Trump supporters around here, they know to keep quiet or else.
July 18, 2017, 1:09 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
this is a solution in search of a problem. Ugh!

I think the "Refugees Welcome" sign in your window already does the trick. However, I have yet to see any refugees living in any of these Brooklyn shops.
July 18, 2017, 2:21 pm
samir kabir from downtown says:
How about "We force low-income people out this neighborhood, here"?
July 19, 2017, 6:10 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Yeah, enforcing the law is so hateful.....lol
July 19, 2017, 7:48 am
Mike from Bed-Stuy says:
What hate? Once again, this about ILLEGAL immigrants, particularly those who have committed crimes. Despite what Meryl Streep said, nobody is against legal immigrants. As for Muslim immigration, it is only a temporary ban because of this little ole ISIS thing that apparently this woman cares little about. She has nothing to say about free speech being obliterated at UC Berkeley or about violent Antifa protests.
Sorry honey, but the left needs to learn about love because that is where all the violence and hate has been coming from.
July 19, 2017, 9:53 am
Annie Moore from Ellis Island says:
Immigrants don't shop in their stores because they spend their money on necessities instead of the artsy-fartsy stuff sold in these stores -- not because they fear "hate." What dopes!
July 19, 2017, 12:22 pm
Rupert from Fort Greene says:
Limousine liberals and their preening morality. They run their precious upscale shops catering to brownstone snobs. They all think alike, they all hate Trump. They really hate him. That's the hate his winning the White House has unleashed around here.
July 19, 2017, 4:52 pm
Steven Rosner from Fresh Meadows says:
It appears a bit"late"to have just begun such an"anti-hate campaign",as of July 4th. It has become rather apparent that thanks to our nation's multi-leveled decentralized governments and overwhelingly independently-minded Federal (U.S.Court) Judges,President Trump's at times"anti-immigrant Hate Agenda",has been significantly curtailed. We should be collectively thankful for our nation's greatly democratic structures,that throughout nearly 250-years,have become mostly;ever more inclusive. Returning,this local campaign,are those who opted to vote for President Trump welcomed in these shops as continued customers;or potentially new customers? It is bad business to turn-down,those with contrasing political views,and arguably also discriminatory,as well?
July 19, 2017, 5:17 pm
Keisha from Clinton Hill says:
How perfect that the Myrtle Ave Business Improvement District organized this ploy. It's very clever since the BID has been making it hard for low income, immigrant and minority shop keepers to stay on Myrtle because they're forced to pay the BID several thousand dollars a year just to operate. The City takes the money for the BID in a separate tax. This doctored American flag is a great decoy for ripping off the struggling, non-boutique shopkeeper
July 20, 2017, 12:47 pm

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