Controversial Travel Ban Challenged in Colonie

By Kermit Mustafa

Published March 19th, 2017

Underprivileged and unwashed residents of South Colonie gather en masse to denounce a ban
proposed to keep them out of Loudonville.

COLONIE — A human rights group has filed suit against Colonie Town Supervisor Cricket Johnson over her proposed travel ban that would prohibit residents of South Colonie from entering North Colonie.

Pogo Rifkin, chief executive of Citizens for Residents Who Are People, said the proposed ban is unconstitutional because it targets individuals of modest economic means.

“Residents of South Colonie may be not be as well off as their counterparts in North Colonie, and they might dress a lot worse, drive far shittier cars and lack social graces,” said Rifkin. “But they should not be judged openly because of their misfortunes.”

Not everyone, however, agrees.

Gwendolyn Crump, a resident of East Hills in Loudonville and the wife of plastic surgeon Crandall Crump, said Johnson’s ‘North Colonie First’ agenda is “long overdue.”

“Previous administrations basically gave this town away with their ‘open borders’ ideology, and as a result, South Colonie trash moved freely throughout Loudonville, lowering our property values, corrupting our kids with their gyrating rap music and polluting the environment with their low-budget sedans and hatchbacks,” Crump said.

“I even walked into a restaurant in the Newton Plaza and there was a table of people all wearing Columbia jackets! Can you imagine? A Columbia jacket in Loudonville? Gross.”

Lovey Princeton, director of social programs at Oh Jesus Christ Fellowship in Loudonville, said support for the ban should not be construed as a prejudice toward those from South Colonie.

“We know their plight and I can only imagine how horrible it is living in a raised ranch and shopping at Boscovs,” said Princeton. “That’s why we hold an annual telethon for South Colonie residents, as well as food and clothing drives. We are more than happy to help those people. We just don’t want them here.”

Johnson, for her part, called media coverage of the controversial plan “fake news,” adding “as long as this challenge doesn’t go before some activist judge, we’ll win — big time.”

Rifkin, though, disagrees.

“Diversity is what makes the suburbs so great,” he said. “You have some wealthy white people, some upper-middle-class white people and some white people with moderate but very respectable incomes. It’s one big melting pot, and we need to keep it that way.”


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