“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We all should rise, above the clouds of ignorance, narrowness, and selfishness.”
Booker T. Washington
We stand in solidarity with the victims of the recent tragedy in Virginia, and all right-thinking Americans who have condemned it. Whenever, and wherever hate and bigotry rear their ugly heads, we have a basic obligation to unite as communities and organize against the perpetrators. We cannot allow neo-Nazis, white supremacists and their allies, or any hate mongering group whatsoever to bully, harass, and intimidate us into thinking that their putrid racial, religious, and ethnic intolerance are legitimate.
All of us have the responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism. The violence fueled by white supremacists in Charlottesville this past weekend underscores why we must continue the struggle for social, economic and political justice.
Our sympathies go out to the family of those who died and those who are recovering from injury. The recent violence against those who uphold the values of our democracy grounded in racial equality and first amendment rights is a tragic reminder of how silence can be deafening. It is domestic terrorism at its worst, and eviscerates the fundamental jurisprudential and theological concepts that all of God’s children are created equal!
We must all stand against this evil and hatred as soon as it occurs, and nip it in the bud. It is regrettable that our President and leaders did not act immediately as it occurred, and emphasize that they will not tolerate it. Indeed, the words, actions and silence of our leaders can fuel racial hatred at crucial times.
Consequently, we demand that our President and all other leaders and representatives at all levels of government, swiftly, definitively and unequivocally reject white racial superiority, and/or any other kind of racial animosity, for silence conveys acquiescence. Bigots seize upon this and create unnecessary xenophobic and other prejudices. It is most anti-American.
Right here in our backyard, and in neighboring places like Long Island, ramped-up immigration enforcement targeting immigrants and people of color and increased KKK recruitment are devastating the social relationships among demographically different communities.
Together, we must also unite and condemn this type of bigotry and hate at all levels, including the courts, in order to keep America safe from the forces of hate and evil. Democracy is not a spectator sport! AG Jeff Sessions was right when he said, “The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated. Justice will prevail.” He must bring the miscreant bigots to justice swiftly.