This has been a rough couple of weeks. People have been attacked for who they are and what they believe. But these heinous acts will hopefully also tap into the humanity that we believe at our core most people on the planet share. To drive you to act, to donate, to volunteer, to VOTE for those who will lead us to a place of peace and love. We need compassionate, thoughtful leaders who see ALL OF US as the “special interest” that they serve. Leaders that will lead from a place of love vs fear, who bring a positive message of hope and unity.
The Week in Review
Transgendered individuals were being erased as the Trump administration is considering narrowing the definition of gender to only be defined by the genitals you are born with. This would roll back civil rights gains that are in place. To understand more about what’s at stake please read the article – How redefining gender under Trump could affect transgender people’s health
On Wednesday, a white Supremacist tried to get into the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown, a predominantly Black church, but could not get in as the doors were locked. So he went to the local Kroger and shot and killed 2 African Americans that were in their mid 60s, Maurice Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones. When a White man with a gun approached him he stated “Whites don’t kill Whites” This is being looked at as a “possible hate crime”. Here’s an article for more details- Kentucky Kroger killings being investigated as possible hate crime, feds say
Then there were the bomb threats. The one thread that seemed to tie these individuals together was that they have been the targets of this administration’s ire. This was reinforced by the images on the suspect’s van, his presence at Trump’s rallies and his social media content. This was not coincidental. He had heard these names over and over as they were being insulted and vilified. Some who knew him have talked about him seeing Trump as a type of “father figure”. Since these threats, Trump has still called several of these targets out at his rallies and does not stop the chants against CNN or Hillary Clinton. More bombs have been found since this image was created by the BBC and we don’t know if more may be out there as the suspect is refusing to cooperate with law enforcement Here is a related opinion piece from Vogue- Trump Spent Years Encouraging Violence Against His “Enemies”—Today, It Came in the Mail
The week ended with 11 Jews being gunned down on the Sabbath at their synagogue, with law enforcement and others wounded. The suspect, we have learned, hated both Jews and the immigrants Jewish organizations have sought to help as they “welcome the stranger” as part of their faith. One victim, Rose Malinger, was a Holocaust survivor and the last words she heard were “All Jews must die”.
From the article- The victims of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre are martyrs the rabbi states
“In Judaism, when someone dies, we often say, “May their memory be for a blessing.” This time, it is all of our obligation to make it so. We must mourn and lament and grieve for the lives stolen from the world. We must rage at the baseless hatred and reckless lack of protections that made these senseless killings possible in the first place. And we must honor the memories of those who were murdered by fighting for a world that values every life — refugee and citizen, of every race and religion — and that creates cultures and policies that reflect those values.”
- Vote– vote for those leaders that will work for everyone’s rights to be protected. We are all in this together! An attack on one is an attack on us all. Help get out the vote. Volunteer for candidates you believe in.
- Join and/or support financially organizations that work to fight hate and gun violence like Moms Demand Action, National Council of Jewish Women , ADL , Black Lives Matter, NAACP, Immigrant Law Center of MN, Outfront Minnesota, Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, HIAS, ACLU , CAIR This is just the tip of the iceberg of incredible organizations that are standing up to combat hate and violence. Pick one, or several, and get involved!
- Communicate– Call out hate speech when you hear it. Stand with someone if you see them being bullied or harassed. Report something that you see as suspicious and hateful- for example a van driving by you covered with people’s faces with targets on them. Don’t let hate and fear-mongering become normalized!
- Love each other– Many folks are struggling with recent events and this political climate. Go out of your way to be kind. Give hugs generously to those you know and love. Disagree respectfully- remembering that we can’t know everyone’s story and haven’t walked in their shoes. Take good care of yourself.