Over the past two weeks, families, friends and community members have attended the funerals of the 22 people killed in El Paso and nine people killed in Dayton. Nationwide, the outpouring of love, support and solidarity with the people in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy has been inspiring.
Antonio Basco with the casket of his wife Margie Reckard in El Paso on Friday. She was killed in the mass shooting at a local Walmart. (Credit: Joel Angel Juarez for The New York Times)
Antonio Basco, who lost his wife Margie in El Paso, told CNN he was worried about attendance at her funeral because they didn't have a big family. Hundreds of people from across the country showed up for Margie and Antonio. Also last week, two El Paso teachers put out a call on Facebook to other teachers asking for postcards of support and love for their students have already received over 1,000 cards from other students across the country.
The devastation to each of their families and these communities will last for years and years. No one thinks it will happen in their town, and then it does. That’s what the son of a victim at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh told us. His mother was killed just before she was to read the Prayer for Peace.
To families and friends who have lost someone to hate, please know, we will stand with you. The way we stand is with our actions. We have to bolster our communities and build connections and communication as hate escalates.
|"El Paso Strong" (Photo Credit: CNN)
We can’t wait to do something. These attacks are likely to continue. The white nationalist movement is seeking to sow chaos and fear with a goal to launch a racial war that separates so called white people from people of color, immigrants, Jewish people, and almost all people of faith. Their faith is in whiteness, not in God or a higher power. Although they are emboldened by the racist messages from the top level of our government, the white nationalist killers are not choosing people by political affiliation when they begin their rampages.
In the absence of a path away from hate at the national level, our actions at the local level — in our communities — are more urgent than ever. We have to mobilize with our neighbors to stop hate and the bias and bigotry that can lead to violence. We have the tools to do this.
In the face of this crisis, Not In Our Town offers successful strategies from communities across the country.
We have to learn from each other and share what works. NIOT has been documenting successful actions to respond to and prevent hate violence for 25 years.
1. Reach Out to Communities who are targets of hate
Show your support and work together on action steps.
2. Stop Hate Action Kits
Not In Our Town offers Stop Hate Action Kits for communities, schools, college campus groups and law enforcement, produced in collaboration with The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
3. National Night Out
Make National Night Out (August 6, 2019) an opportunity to connect with your neighbors and talk about how to build the connections and practices that can help the people in your town stop hate together.
4. Join United Against Hate Week in November
Cities and counties in California are already mobilizing for United Against Hate Week (November 17-22, 2019). Find out how your city or region can become involved.
5. Learn more from Not In Our Town communities
Here are 10 concrete actions from communities across the United States.