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.