The horrifying acts of terror in Pittsburgh shake us all.
Because I am Jewish, this event hits close to home and reverberates at my core. It makes vivid the conversations I had with my grandparents about the anti-Semitism in the Europe that my family fled. And what I see in the media, even over the last year. That hate is horrifying. But Jews do not own being its target.
That very same hate kills African Americans in a Charleston church basement.
It takes lives in a Mosque in Quebec.
It targets the LGBTQ community in Orlando.
It finds Sikhs in a gurdwara in Wisconsin.
It murders Buddhists in a Waddell, AZ, temple.
It’s the same hate. We are all in this together.
So together, we must confront hate, wherever we see it, whenever we see it.
When it looms large and also when the transgressions might seem small.
We must own that today’s political speech of divisiveness tills the ground for hate to grow… when we demonize one another…when the intent of a call to action is to make us afraid of one another, to gain political advantage.
A year or so ago, the headline in a Alt-Right media publication read: “Austin’s Jew Mayor Demands Tranny Police Force”
The article led with a photo of me, smiling. Beneath the photo, the caption read: “It’s very unsettling when Jews try to look human. Just grow the beard and locks you freak.”
Mainstream media asked about the article at that time. I minimized it and its impact.
I was wrong. I resolve to do better. We must all resolve to do better.
My heart breaks and I cry with the victims, the families of those killed and injured, all of the worshippers and the law enforcement officers that bravely responded.
May the memories of those that died make us better.