Resource Center for Nonviolence staff and volunteers send love and offer solidarity to the members and friends of Tree of Life / L’Simcha Jewish Congregation in Pittsburg after the awful murder of 11 of their members and wounding of many more in body and heart. We are grieved by these deaths. We are pained and our nation is stained by this violent act of Anti-Semitism. Those of us who are Jewish feel fear and anger that historic targeting of our people has not stopped.
From the perspective of nonviolence, we stop and respect the immediate community that suffered this violence, and the global Jewish community that was targeted by these Anti-Semitic murders. We learn again that our society contains strong strains of racism, patriarchy, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, of hate and systemic oppression of groups of people. We are guided by the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Those of us who are African American and those of us who are Indigenous recognize in our hearts this systemic racism that has been directed against us since 1492. Those of us who are immigrants feel fear and anger that this society refuses protection for us. Those of us who are gender non binary and those of us who love people of the same gender recognize in our hearts this targeting of us for who we are.
Those of us who are religious, or progressive, in favor of hospitality for immigrants, in favor of gun control, activists for social justice, feel vulnerable in this society.
None of these associations with others whose lives, religions and cultures are threatened by the scourge of bigotry and systemic racism diminish the horror of this most recent indescribable loss or the cancer of anti-Semitism.
Our commitment to nonviolence is rooted in conviction that all people are connected. This is our society that enables this violence. We all can take responsibility to push back against the climate of hate and fear which encourages it. By working to create a society that serves and respects all its people, we believe we can help reduce future acts of hatred and senseless killing.