Norway and All of Us: Send Your Message of Support | Not in Our Town

Norway and All of Us: Send Your Message of Support

“After the bomb went off  ... I asked my daughter whether she was scared. She replied by quoting something I had once said to her: 'Yes, but if you’re not scared, you can’t be brave.'"

—Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo, New York Times editorial, "The Past is a Foreign Country," July 26, 2011
Until it happens, it is unimaginable. Children, gathered together because they and their parents believe in building a society where everyone is accepted and respected, are followed to a summer camp and systematically gunned down by a killer who has targeted them because they accept “multiculturalism.” 


While horrific events like the July 22 Norway killings spark global trauma, the reflection and action required is close to home. As Americans, we recognize the pain and trauma that emerges from hate and terror. The Sept. 11 attacks, one of the most stunning acts of hate in our country’s history, brought people together and forged a national resolve to resist terrorism. Tragically, it also spawned a xenophobic backlash against Muslims—and those who are perceived to be Muslim—that continues to have deadly consequences both here and around the world.

The Norway massacre also reminds us of  another tragedy in our recent history. The Oklahoma City Bombing was perpetrated by a white supremacist, anti-government extremist and resulted in the death of 168 of our people, including children. This mass killing was the culmination of an increasing tide of actions by hate groups around the country.
Not coincidentally, in 1995, the year of the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Not In Our Town movement was born. Oklahoma City served as a wake-up call that brought community leaders and ordinary people together to take on, town by town, the hate that had clearly become more threatening.
Norway Rose March 
In the aftermath of the mass killings in Oslo and Utoya, 150,000 people in Norway gathered to affirm their commitment to democracy for all. "Our response is more democracy, more openness and more humanity, but never naïveté,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the memorial service at Oslo Cathedral on July 23. Their solidarity is a powerful example for the world, and a sign that the Norwegian community is ready to take on this challenge. 
Hate surfaced with a terrible force in Norway, and it could happen again.
The only response that has ever worked is resistance and people standing together-- teachers and clergy, writers and factory workers, baristas and executives, hard hats and soccer moms.
All of us, now. We can’t wait. Our children need us.
Please leave your pledge to resist hate in your town and a message of support for the people of Norway. We’ll share it with the Not In Our Town community and send copies of your posts to the Norwegian Embassy and local news organizations in Norway.

Patrice O’Neill, Executive Producer, Not In Our Town


Image sources:




I was very sad and very grieved when I heard of this terrible thing.  To lose so many young lives, full of promise and for such a cruel, stupid and totally evil reason totally unthinkable..and to do it saying you are a Christian--totally ludicrous.   You are in my thoughts and prayers and I am praying for the person who did this also.  He does not really know the Christ I know..and he needs to...Please know that my hope is that something good will come of this and you will know that not all people are a warped as this misguided and evil individual.  Peace and blessing to you, the families of those lost and your country--and our where something like this could happen...

Add new comment