Light in the Darkness: Share Your Thoughts | Not in Our Town

Light in the Darkness: Share Your Thoughts

Light in the Darkness

Our new documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness had its broadcast premiere on PBS stations across the country last night. We hope that it will inspire thousands of people to take action to stand up to hate in their communities.

The film tries to achieve that goal by making space for discussions about all the underlying issues that give rise to hate and hate crimes. What did you think of the film? How can you use it as a tool in your community?


 I saw the film last night, and I'm now feeling inspired to organize a community screening in my small North Carolina town (even smaller than Patchogue!). Our local demographics are changing, and I think this film would be very helpful to bring newcomers and older residents alike together. There's something each one of us can do to make our town a safe place for everyone who lives here. 

I saw this film last night and think it would be a great tool for the community college classroom, especially since many of the students in the film are very close to my students' ages. I could use it in my English 100 and 200 classes, as it will pair nicely with already popular essays on American history and immigration (I often use the textbook, Rereading America). There are so many nuances in this film, we'd have a lot to discuss and write about. 

Thank you for this amazing film. It is an example of  why stories and storytelling organizations such as The Working Group are so important. Our comfort with issues is often determined by our proximity to them and this allowed us to be in Patchogue and think deeply about our own communities and experience. The lessons and encouragement to be engaged applies to all of us. 

 I had heard about Not In Our Town before but this is the first time I have seen one of the documentaries and then when I went online to the website I was so surprised to see that there is so much more to this program. I was especially interested to see all of the resources for schools and teachers - Important because as we see in this story these crimes are being committed by our young people. At some point we as adults have to take responsibility for what they are learning and what I like about the few school videos I saw is that a lot of the action and ideas come directly from the students, not just the teachers.



After watching the Not In Our Town docummentaries from over the years, not only do I love seeing an apporoach to community outreach, but also the diverse variation in the communities you profile, makes it all the more relevant than "Mainstreet USA."  Keep up the good work!

Hate came to my town by way of the WBC and we struggled in Upstate New York to respond without any real organizational backing.  Then we found out about Not In Our Town.  With the help of their films, website and online resources we fought back.  For years the Not In Our Town movement has been a leader in the field and inspired many to take action in their own communities before hatred becomes violent.  Their newest film, Light in the Darkness, which I was so glad to view at a recent community event, continues to inspire individuals from teenagers to the elderly, to come together and stand up and say no to hate.  With support from individuals this movement can continue to be successful and reach students and communities around the country.  Please, if you like this film and believe this is something that communities across the country can benefit from, consider supporting the Not In Our Town movement financially today so this important work can continue!

Tish Walter

Talk about biased reporting. I'm surprised that all the non-Latino members of this town didn't just sell their homes and move. These are obviously just the most terrible people on the planet. They all looked like real killers to me. No wonder the Latino community has been terrified to walk on the streets alone. Well they should all feel real safe now that all the elderly folks have taken up making "mea culpa" quilts and the teens are selling T-shirts. That will definitely prove their worthiness to live in their own town. Maybe in time they can shed their collective and individual guilt and perhaps remember that they are Americanos. You know, ... citizens. As in, law-abiding. But no, we can't have that. That would only lead to ETV making more, one-sided documentaries about how vicious and animalistic the people in this community all are. Perhaps ETV could just call Maulder and Scully and have them investigate the town for the true X-File that it must be. I'm sure there have "got" to be some midnight meetings going on where the destruction of the entire Latin world is being planned.

The murder of this young man was tragic. The sentences that were meted out are a joke. Although, we found out absolutely nothing about the facts of the case from the fluff piece, apparently, making the citizens look like wild animals was all that mattered in this trial. I saw all the little white folks bustin' their butts to make sure everyone knew that they all (individually) felt terrible about this crime. Hate crime I believe it was called. That's because regular murder isn't good enough for this situation. Talk about patronizing and being politically correct. It was disgusting. Not once in this piece was there any mention of cause and effect. I saw a lot of reasons for this crime in the video but they were never examined. That would have involved investigative reporting and ETV ain't who you call for that. I am sure, like in all situations, there is plenty if blame to pass around here but the show was only interested in going after the sheep. Cause it's easy.

The show starts by pointing out that the reason the Latinos come to this community is because there is already a large population of Latinos living there. Not because it’s a "quaint" little town. Or peaceful. Or because the schools are good or even because the people of the town are particularly friendly and have all vowed to learn to speak Spanish so the Latinos would not have to. After all, it would be very impolite to pressure your guests to be able to communicate in the lingua of the country they have chosen to migrate to. That's because they have exhibited such love for their new "illegal" country and town that they just can't wait to assimilate and become bosom neighbors. It's a shame too because most of the Latinos I saw seemed like decent hard working folks. As are most Latinos. Unfortunately, (and with no help from ETV) hiding, never learning to communicate and never owning up to your own shortcomings is not going to help your causa. That is true for "all" peoples. This, however, involves a moral judgment and one of common sense ... again, no help from ETV.

Of course, we also didn't get to see the kids ... at night ... in the streets ... with their gangs, and find out how their free education is making them positive contributors to "the" community. No, all we saw was everyone dressed nice for the show. We didn't get to see how they hung out with their little friends, the snobs, bullies, thugs, druggies, ... you know ... modern american kids. Pillars of the community. The gimme generation.

Then there are all the acts of self-flagellation that Christians just can't seem to get enough of these days. Street parties, quilting bees, town hall meetings, passing new Latino resolutions. Funny thing about this though, I really didn't see too much Latin participation at most of these and when there was some, it was in Spanish. And of course, entirely about how bad these town's people are and how terrified they all are of them.

Come on people! This stuff goes on everywhere, all the time and by all the little "do-gooder" groups. If you want to be treated like an equal ... follow the rules. I've lived in Latin countries and trust me ... they have no more tolerance for foreigners (legal or otherwise) than we do. They just don't try to act like they like you. They let you know how much they hate you right from the get go. Unless of course, you're just visiting and have lots of money. Even then, it's tough when you think that you are better than everybody else.

Why so much anger toward a community trying to cope with complex issues in the best way they know how?  I think there are some heroic people living in Patchogue.  And, do you really want us to be like the Latin American nations who you proclaim hate US citizens and let it be known?  I have no experience with any hate by any person, organization or government being productive. 

 I truely agree with you . The negativity should be removed from every one and treat people through humanity not through nationality .




The film Not In Our Town:Light gave me great encouragement. Hopefully it will set the stage for many towns across America to act positively. As an artist and resident of Westchester County NY this theme is familiar to me. I am working on an ongoing series about the Latino and Latina day Laborers.  The series has been shown in many venues including a conference on immigration. I was motivated to depict the workers in my  paintings in the hopes of  creating a dialogue with the viewer. To view my statement about my work and to see the paintings please go to Http://

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