Gov. Hochul asks New Yorkers to look within this holiday season amid rise in hate crimes statewide

Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered her annual holiday message to the people of New York on Christmas Day, but this year it struck a very serious cord.
"This season, as we tell stories to our children about the Grinch who stole Christmas, the Christmas carol, these are tales about people whose hearts have been thawed. Let's now look within and re-examine our own actions and words, and ensure that our own hearts don't need to thaw as well," she said.
Gov. Hochul was referencing an increase in hatred and bigotry that's been seen throughout the state of New York as the Israel-Hamas war rages on. The governor is now asking New Yorkers to look within.
"Have I noticed it? Of course, it's on TV all the time. I feel bad for both sides, actually, I feel bad for all people at this point... Watching the news and watching children and babies dying I don't care what ethnic race or religion you are. I mean, we're all human," said one resident.
And that's what Gov. Hochul wants us to focus on this year - our similarities and coming together.
"I think unity is the biggest thing because everyone is so against each other," said Hochul.
 "Even if it doesn't apply to me or anybody that I know, I can still feel the pain that those people are feeling." said Westchester native Annisa Molina.
Molina says the best way to cultivate peace and good will is by putting yourself in the other person's shoes. "When someone cuts you off maybe they're trying to get to the hospital, maybe somebody's dying, just try to take a minute and not take it personally."
"Everyone's going to have disagreements, but you have to be civil, I think a lot of praying is what we need, and that right there keeps your mind at peace, I think we need peace, I pray for America," added Nick, a fellow New Yorker.
One thing that everyone who spoke with News 12's Emily Young agreed with - if there's any state that can embody the principles of empathy, open mindedness and peace, it's the very melting pot that is New York.