hate.

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my heart feels broken today processing the news of what happened over the weekend in a synagogue in pittsburgh. for those who lost their lives or were injured, for their friends and family. how a place of worship, a place one retreats to for finding comfort and peace in a very uncertain time and uncertain world, becomes a place where you can have your life taken while seeking that comfort and peace is beyond me. it’s horrific and it’s unacceptable and it just keeps happening. we’ve reached a time in our history where going to school, going to a grocery store, going to your church, going to synagogue or mosque, can end in tragedy.

last wednesday, i happened to be in midtown and, in order to get home, walked past an entire bomb squad standing on 58th street after they had successfully removed the explosive sent to cnn. it’s not exactly the kind of thing you enjoy walking by, but it’s becoming the norm in our community and in our world and my heart hurts for all of it. we can do better and must do better, because this is not how i want to leave this world for my children.

hate crimes start with hate speech. whether it’s the president encouraging fear and anger and violence at a rally, hosts of tv/radio/podcast shows spreading rumors about a group of people different from them, a religious leader using a sermon to divide instead of unite, a parent using racial slurs in front of her children, or even people making fun of others on social media, they all lead to us vs. them, to resentment, to contempt, to intolerance, from thoughts of hate to words of hate to actions of hate. from freedom and liberty to fear and tragedy. if even one minority doesn’t feel safe, the rest of us aren’t safe either.

they and we all have the ability and power to stop allowing this country to be torn apart with such hurtful divides, and to use our voices to share kinder words as we work to understand one another and our differences. by refusing to hate someone just because they aren’t like us, to get to know our neighbors and future friends that have so much to offer by being them, like we have by being us.

  1. Dee

    So happy to see this heartfelt statement here Naomi- thank you.

  2. Verity

    Beautifully written

  3. Mia

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have the power to use this platform for good and you do that successfully.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. So many people are quiet about this. I love that you are using your platform in this way. The hate has gotten out of control and it is so, so scary. Yet another reason that the upcoming election could not be more important.

  5. Grace

    So well put. It starts with words. You are absolutely right. Our words are dividing “us” and “them” and we all have to start with ourselves – and hold those in power responsible for not just their actions, but their words.

  6. Jamie

    This is beautiful. Thank you for using your voice and platform to spread this important message!

  7. Carmen

    Yes, this. Thank you for saying this.

  8. Christina Matekel-Gibson

    This post left me in tears. I believe it is essential to spend your privilege and use your platform (if you have one) for good. This post is so important. Thank you.

  9. Abigail

    Thank you for using your platform to write these words.

  10. Jean

    Very well said!

  11. Lauren

    thank you Naomi. thank you for coming from a place of love and understanding. this message is vital. know that your followers support you. that sharing your personal fears and thoughts on YOUR blog/instagram is appreciated. we must all stand up for communities with no voice. call out hate when we see it. because in the end all we want is a better future.

  12. noah

    thank you so much for writing this, Naomi. beautifully written & so, so true. sending all best wishes to you, your family, and readers here for brighter days ahead.

  13. Jenny

    I’m not much for commenting on blogs, but I just had to stop by and say thank you. thank you. thank you. this brought tears to my eyes and I literally clapped while sitting eating my lunch at my desk. I know it can be hard for bloggers to post these types of statements–statements that shouldn’t even be controversial, but somehow have become a partisan issue–in fear of backlash from some readers. but it means so much to see somebody say something in such a public way. so, again, thank you, Naomi.

  14. Izzy

    I’ve never commented before, but this is worth commenting on. Thank you for making such a clear cut statement!

  15. Sabine

    Thank you so much for speaking out against hate speech!!! So much respect over here for people who do! All the best from Austria!

  16. D

    Well said mama – I’m sure you’ll get some interesting reactions to this one – just stand firm in what you know to be true- if we can stand firm in love and peace, we’ve got a shot. Oh, and vote ❤️

  17. Meggles

    I’m grateful to you for writing this. I’m glad you did. But the thought occurs to me—we have reached a point when bloggers feel the need to speak out against hate more than I have ever seen. The reason for this is that we don’t have just a lack of leadership—we have a lack of leadership that *actively incites hate and violence on purpose*. He needs hate like oxygen. It’s what got him elected. It’s what may likely help him get re-elected. We have a president that uses hate for political success. It worked, and is still working. I’m sure you would love to not feel compelled to speak out. But every decent person can not remain silent. We are in a titanic struggle for this country’s soul. I wish Godspeed to all of us engaged in the struggle for our better angels, and I look forward to a day when we don’t have a president who cynically whips up hate for politically ends.

  18. Carole

    I think when all is said and done, we can remember this about these kinds of events:

    They have happened throughout history, in one form or another. Hate is not new. In fact someone from the synagogue said hate towards the Jewish people has existed for thousands of years. It is sad we are not in a better place in 2018.

    Almost always, the perpetrators are known to their communities as being outside the norms of behavior and thought. Most mass shooters are on someone’s radar for their discordant beliefs and advocacy.

    Always the political pendulum (the people, essentially) swings back and forth. The world has undergone a great deal of liberalization in the past 50 years, and as the outcomes of those policies are felt and understood, it has caused the pendulum/people to begin to swing the other way. There will be new winners…. and new losers. The world is currently undergoing such a shift. The most visible signs are the election of Trump which was as much a repudiation of business as usual in the US as it was about electing him; the Brexit vote in the UK; Merkel’s troubles in Germany (which will ultimately become the EU’s troubles). France elected the far-left Macron and most French citizens are very unhappy about his performance so far. Chances are France will veer to the right in their next election. Brazil just elected a very far right president yesterday. Other countries and other cities are seeing left wing governments fall, because their policies are failing, the people have been left behind in favor of the Oligarchy, and corruption is widespread.

  19. Hanna

    Hear hear!

  20. Victoria

    Naomi – From a longtime reader, thank you for your beautiful words. I am a fellow New Yorker because I am in love with the vibrancy that diversity brings to our city. It meant so much to me to see your post this morning.

  21. Rachael

    Thank you for posting this. Love to see support for Jews and disgust with antisemitism from people outside the tribe.

  22. Angie

    Thank you for saying this! I was talking to a family member before this happened but what to do about this. Her teenage son and their friends think these adults’ speech are ok and they’re trying to explain it’s not. We need to not make this speech normal, and sadly it is. Bravo for speaking out.

  23. Karri

    Thank you for sharing these important words and reminders with your readers. We all need to remember how important it is to stand up for love and kindness whenever and however we can.

  24. Lucie

    Thank you for such heartfelt and personal words. Thank you for taking a stand.

  25. I never comment but thank you so much for putting this out there. It really does matter, every person who speaks up matters, and we must stand up to hate for ourselves, for those who came before us, and for our children.

  26. Shannon

    Naomi,

    I never comment on your posts, but this one is special and important. I am Canadian and watch some of the polarization from here, but we too are divided in our own way and I share your view that my heart aches for the world we are leaving for our children. Thinking of America at this truly difficult time in history.

    Shannon

  27. Admira Hadzisuljanovic

    I saw this same post on IG and some of the comments were appalling, like saying they won’t read your blog anymore because you said the president uses hate speech (how someone believe he doesn’t is beyond me), or that you were “too political.”There is nothing political about what you said. It’s common sense.

    The fact the president can continue lying at these rallies by instilling fear of a “migrant caravan,” continue calling fair reporting media dishonest and fake, calls himself a nationalist while knowing the connotation that goes with that statement, all while saying we need unity in time of tragedy is hypocritical at best.

    I am a proud Muslim American who came to New York City at the age of 11 as a refugee because of the Bosnian Genocide, I still deal with the guilt that comes with fact that I escaped while the majority of men in my family were murdered and the women were held in rape camps. I want to like this country that was accepting of me when I was a child, and it’s honestly terrifying to see how divisive we are now. I never thought I would as uneasy about my country’s future as I did while Yugoslavia fell apart.

  28. Natasha Leigh

    Hey, Naomi. I don’t usually comment here too often, but you and I have spoken a couple of times. I just wanted to tell you that honestly, I’m stunned. I don’t mean that in a mean way, but I wasn’t sure if you or Josh would ever publicly speak out about what was happening. There’s a part of me that wish you hadn’t because you’re now going to get backlash and you don’t deserve that at all, but I thank you for risking your career to do the right thing. It is well appreciated.

  29. allison

    thank you so much for making this statement – i’m sure it wasn’t easy, but it is incredibly important. as a Jew, and as a person trying to be in allyship with communities of color and Muslim and Sikh and LGBTQ communities, with immigrants — thank you. there are so many communities feeling hate directed at them and the best way it can be countered is with feelings and words, loud words, of love. it is also the best way to show our children what the world can and should be. thank you for speaking up.

  30. Isabel

    first time commenting to say I am impressed by you addressing this head on.

  31. Franny

    Naomi, I don’t think I have ever commented on a post before, but I’ve been reading (and enjoying) your blog for many years. Thank you for this beautiful post, and for taking a stand against the hatred that is infecting this country. It is people like you, who are willing to put themselves and their public personas on the line, that can really help to make a difference.

  32. Jodie

    I hope you don’t have any regrets over expressing your beliefs on your blog. I’ve never commented on any blog before, but when I read your post, my respect and admiration for you propelled me to write this. You should be very proud of yourself.

  33. Meg

    First time commenter here as well, signing on to say a heartfelt thank you. This is so important. Let’s all put more love out there and stand up for each other! Xo.

  34. Sarah

    Thank you for speaking your mind, in a kind, thoughtful, caring way.

  35. Julie

    As a Canadian following your adventures from afar, I truly appreciate your words of peace and kindness. Please know that your message carries weight in all corners of our world. Thank you <3

  36. Nikki

    Thank you for writing and sharing this. A lot of bloggers shy away from saying what needs to be said, so so much respect to you for speaking up.

  37. Eleanor

    Thank you for writing this. In your blog you speak beautifully about the love you have for your family and friends and community. I believe none of us can really celebrate love if we don’t also speak out to condemn hate and violence. I’m very grateful you did so.

  38. Sara

    VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE.

  39. Ariella

    Thank you for writing this. There is too much silence around this issue, and certainly too much silence around the rampant anti semitism in this country and throughout the world. As an orthodox upper west sider, I have to admit that I imagined the Mormon church was the last place I would ever find anything in support of the Jewish community. So I was also reminded to have more open minded love from this post, and I appreciate your willingness to publicly support our community at this time.

  40. Adria

    Long time reader, first time commenter. So glad to see you speak out, and also for holding space on your platform for those suffering and those figuring out how to respond. Thank you, and also I hope you are taking time to process and mourn, however long that takes.

  41. Nathalie

    Thank you so much for this, for using your voice to stand up against hate and to encourage us to care for each other, now more than ever. All my love to you!

  42. emi

    Thank you for this post! I haven’t commented in ages but just wanted to say thank you and completely agree. Thank you for using your voice and platform for good!

  43. Anna

    Yes. Thank you.

  44. Mary

    Thank you

  45. Kate

    Thank you, Naomi!

  46. Katie

    I have a new respect for you after reading this! This is s conversation we all desperately need. THANK YOU!!

  47. Cait

    Naomi, thank you for using your platform (here and on social media) to speak on this. Your blog (and therefore life) represents a space on the internet of joy, that all regardless of political affiliation or belief can enjoy. But as they say, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

    I know you may take a hit for sharing your sadness and fear but I also hope that many who look up to you use this opportunity to reflect on why it is that they love you and what you and your family really represent. Yes, cute kids, a mum and dad and pretty home, but more importantly a compassionate community-minded couple, intent on sharing cultural experiences and teaching your children kindness, curiosity and positivity.

    Thank you again for being brave here. I have always admired your blog and attitude but this vulnerability and strength make me love this peaceful place on the internet even more.

  48. Lauren

    Thank you so much for posting this. I know it was a risk, but it is so important for everyone to be engaged in this conversation. Thank you for using your platform to speak out.

  49. Shannon

    Thank you for this.

  50. Michelle

    You have a beautiful way with words and a beautiful spirit. Thank you for posting this message and being a voice for equality and justice in this world. Every person who speaks up matters and makes a difference. I can’t believe people would leave mean comments on social media or say that what you wrote is somehow controversial… how is it controversial to stand up for human rights, decency and morality?
    Anyway, I always love your blog but I love it a little more today. Much love from Canada.

  51. Sid

    So well said. Vote for love not hate. Choosing love makes us all safer.

  52. Crystal

    Just because your desire to approach life and relationship from a place of compassion and empathy is one that many people can’t hear right now, because many are committed to taking a side or supporting a system of belief, doesn’t mean that it should remain unspoken. From a long time reader, thank you for taking your power and using your voice towards the real possibility of less fear and more love.

  53. Katherine

    Thank you, THANK YOU for sharing this.

  54. Margaret Forsey

    This is so well written, Naomi. Thank you for using your voice and platform to speak on these issues. ❤️

  55. Susanna

    I totally agree with you. Your words are getting to the heart of the problems and are formulated very eloquently – thank you!

  56. Laura

    Thank you for sharing this. It matters that we speak up. Thank you!!

  57. Rose J.

    I’m right there with you! My neighborhood in jersey is predominantly jewish, and couldn’t believe the tears I shed on Sunday when I heard! We are going to Pittsburgh to pay our respects in a few weeks. It’s so sad that this is happening and advise my millennial kids to use their voice for change. So glad they are both of age now to vote, and make changes in this crazy, sad, yet beautiful world we live in.

  58. Jessica

    Naomi – thank you for writing this. So many bloggers / influencers won’t speak about these issues. They often say it’s because they want to create a space free of the noise, but I think it’s also because they are afraid of the backlash, or of hurting their “brand.” I can understand that, but this isn’t just politics as usual. This is a scary time, and I truly believe that we have a responsibility to speak out and reject what is happening in this world. That’s doubly true for those who have a large platform. Thank you <3

  59. Megan Hinds

    Pittsburgher here…THANK YOU<3

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