3-22-2021

 

To the Editor,
 

We are shocked by the murder of eight people in the Atlanta area. Six were women of Asian descent. As members and leaders of historically targeted minorities, committed to equity in education, health, and safety, we must acknowledge the suffering and fear that last week’s fatal shootings created for Asian Americans in Atlanta, here, and throughout our nation. We mourn with them at this challenging time in our nation’s history.

Against this backdrop, we recognize that these killings occurred when anti-Asian discrimination and violence have been increasing, as have acts of racism, xenophobia, and scapegoating. This may be an example of the potent intersection of racism and misogyny that creates additional threats for women in our society.

We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community here and across the country. Racism, in all its forms, is a profound threat to the health and wellbeing of our communities. We must respond and prevent it. As Americans we are strengthened when we welcome, respect, and protect individuals from every race and background. We welcome leaders of all vulnerable minorities and faith communities to join us in our efforts and our expectations that we will soon see:

 

  1. A clear statement by our civic leadership condemning all hate inspired incitement and actions.
  2. More education and programs in our schools on these specific issues. 
  3. A clear show of solidarity with Utah residents of Asian descent.

 

Jay Jacobson and Alex Shapiro for the United Jewish federation of Utah and its Task Force on Antisemitism and Community Relations and its Partners Against Hate 

 

Jose Borjon, Consul of Mexico in Utah

Luna Bunari, Executive Director Utah Muslim Civic League

Rev. France Davis Retired Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

Rob Moolman, Executive Director, Utah Pride Center

Troy Williams, Executive Director, Equality Utah

 

5-22-2021

 

Letter to the Editor Salt Lake Tribune

 

We condemn the desecration of the Chabad synagogue in Salt Lake City.

 

Events outside our country may prompt criticism and fuel prejudice, but they never excuse assaults on individuals or religious institutions. Increasing attacks against Asians, Muslims, Hispanics, African Americans and Jews evoke a horrible precedent.

 

In 1946,  Martin Niemöller, German Lutheran pastor and concentration camp survivor, wrote:

 

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

We speak out:  When a man shouting lies killed eleven Jews at prayer in Pittsburgh, when a Hispanic youth was beaten and gay men assaulted in Salt Lake City, when we urged our legislature to pass a meaningful hate crimes law, when our Asian community feared violent attacks, and when a Jewish synagogue here was just defiled with a Nazi swastika. Shock and fear now permeate the Jewish community and others who recall what this has meant to minorities. We stand together in concern for Chabad and the Jewish community in a rising wave of overt anti-Semitism. We decry all acts of hatred that target race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and identity.

 

As we speak out now, in a dangerously polarized time, we welcome the response from the Salt Lake City Police Department and the FBI. We hope the investigation is thorough and prosecution swift; although prevention is always best. We call on parents, schools, and government leaders to replace fiction with truth, unchecked anger with awareness of our predisposition to bias and recommit to making this No Place for Hate.

 

The United Jewish Federation of Utah Task force on Anti-Semitism and its Partners Against Hate

 

Alex Shapiro, Executive Director

Jay Jacobson, Committee Chair

Luna Banuri, Executive Director Utah Muslim Civic League

Jose Borjon, Consul of Mexico in Utah

Max Chang

Rev. France Davis Pastor Emeritus, Calvary Baptist Church

Jani Iwamoto, Utah State Senator

Rob Moolman, Executive Director, Utah Pride Center

Troy Williams, Executive Director, Eq