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November 08, 2018

Statement Regarding the Recent Shootings

The end of October marked a searingly sad seven days for our Country. Hate driven murders and threats of murder. Now, yesterday, more mass murders.

The wounds are raw. And deeply personal to family and survivors. The only immediate response of conscience is sympathetic solace. Sadly, that has not been the only immediate response. And achingly, the wounds are also national. And recurrent. September 15, 1963, 16th Street Baptist: Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair. June 17, 2015, Mother Emanuel AME: Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson. Now, October 27, 2018, Tree of Life: Joyce Fienberg, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, Irving Younger.

We cannot let these lives be lost in vain. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Wrote Edmund Burke. “I’ve decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Said Dr. King.

Last Saturday, October 27, I was standing in Mother Emanuel AME giving closing remarks for a program honoring the Emanuel 9 and rising up against racism and hate, when the devastating news of murders at the Tree of Life synagogue hit.

This is a clarion call, for resisting the temptation of hate and embracing the challenge of love. We have to stand together in grieving with the families and survivors, in condemning the haters, and in combating daily the climate that gives agency to anger and hate.