Our hearts go out to the people whose lives were brutally and cowardly taken at the Squirrel Hill Tree of Life Synagogue earlier today in Pittsburgh as they gathered on this Shabbat to conduct a baby-naming ceremony.
While reports are still emerging regarding the motive behind this terrorist act, social media posts from the suspect indicate a troubling xenophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant worldview.
HIAS is the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees
In a week that has already been rife with violence, we are reminded that Define American’s mission is more important than ever, to create an America in which everyone is welcome. No matter your faith tradition or the circumstances into which you were born, every person deserves the opportunity for full citizenship and to be able to live safely in our communities.
We call upon the thousands of chapter members and supporters of Define American to showcase the leadership in their own communities instead of the tribalism that some folks use to divide and dehumanize. Every genocide in human history has begun with the systematic dehumanization of people by using whatever form of media that is available to them. Our words matter, and we must continue to speak out against hate and embrace unity in our communities.
Audre Lorde reminds us that “there is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Our liberation is bound up with one another, and we weep for our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community.
We refuse to be terrorized by bombs or bullets.
We will not be stripped of our humanity.
We will not be deterred.
Ultimately, it will not be our hate, but our love that defines us.