Hate crimes: How they affect BIPOC and why they are on the rise
Hate crimes are on the rise against communities of color. In 2019, they reached their highest level in more than a decade. Here’s why.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
Earlier this month, the last liberator of Auschwitz concentration camp died at age 98. When General Eisenhower’s troops first entered the concentration camps, he told them to take pictures and document everything, for he feared that the stories would be lost. Eisenhower thought that no one would believe the atrocities which had taken place and that humanity might forget the depths to which people can sink when they hate to such an extreme that they lose sight of their moral compasses.
Also this month, a local middle school student shared a shocking and disturbing video terrorizing those who are LGBTQ and celebrating the legacy of Hitler. Hitler’s Nazi horror campaign included the killing of 6 million Jews as well as more than 5 million others for being Roma, LGBT, or political opponents of the Nazis. Taking place during Pride Month, this video demonstrates the truth of General Eisenhower’s fears.
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We owe it to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, as well as to our future, to address these issues now. Our children need to learn the dangers of hate, and the importance of treating every single human being with respect. We may not agree on every subject, but that does not justify language that denigrates, dehumanizes or demonizes others.
As faith leaders and community leaders in Collier County, we are proud to say that all are created in the Divine image. All are sacred and deserve to be respected. We will not stand idly by while others are the victims of hate. We stand against any who would speak words of hate or condone their use.
We call upon our local educators in public, charter, and private schools to increase Holocaust education and diversity education in our schools. It is time to stop hate in its tracks by teaching our children to respect everyone, including those who may be different than themselves. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel noted, “Indifference to evil is worse than evil itself. In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”
The time has come for us to accept responsibility for our words and our deeds.
Rabbi Adam Miller, Senior Rabbi at Temple Shalom, Rev. Dr. Dawson Taylor, Senior Minister at Naples UCC & Chairperson of GLSEN-COLLIER, Susan Suarez, President & CEO of the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center of SWFL, Cori Craciun, President of Naples Pride, David B. Goldstein, PFLAG of Naples, Jack and F.E. Nortman, Founders of the Boxcar Foundation.