The beating was a key issue in last month's town election. Some 800 voters turned out to oust the old mayor and trustees for failing to take steps to close the nightclub where the attack took place. The club had been the the subject of numerous complaints before Shane was nearly killed in the parking lot.
Although the majority of residents of Eastern Long Island are white, black people own and work in virtually every sort of business, teach at local schools and participate in the literary and artistic affairs that take place here.
Whenever I ask about the beating, local folks express outrage and a palpable sense of wrongness that it had occurred. "Outsiders" is a word that comes up quickly in nearly every conversation about it.
Last summer's fires, like the periodic hurricanes, are something that local people can handle. It is possible for them to factor VTC natural disasters into their lives. But the Shane Daniels beating and TWA Flight 800 are stark reminders that there are no havens in this ever-shrinking world, and perhaps there are no places where people can escape victimization. Today, we are all at risk to the forces of evil.
2& Jim Kramon is a free-lance writer.
Pub Date: 7/28/96