Congressman Hank Johnson on the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
In light of last weekend’s devastating shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, I stand in solidarity with my Jewish brothers and sisters. Today, my heart is with the families and friends sitting shiva for their loved ones who were taken from them too soon. The Tree of Life Synagogue was targeted because of its members’ love for their fellow man — it was on HIAS’s list of Jewish “Welcome Campaign” communities who pledged to accept refugees to the United States. This selfless generosity and willingness to reach out to other humans in need earned the congregation love and respect over the years, and it is tragic that it should be attacked for the good it has done for the country and the world.
It’s time for people of all faiths to stand together. Yes, in grief, but also with the collective understanding that the principles that power faith can transcend those that would tear America apart. To rise beyond evil, we must realize that only together can we overcome fear. When we are united, we can teach those who would be seduced by racism, by anti-Semitism, or by xenophobia, that hatred has no place in the United States.
We cannot let senseless tragedies powered by hate become commonplace — the rise of white nationalism around the country must be stopped before it’s too late. It’s time for Congress to investigate the rise of hate crimes and find solutions to the brewing crisis before us. We cannot be bystanders to our own destruction, and we cannot insult the memory of our brothers and sisters by refusing to take action in the wake of their deaths.
We must conquer hate with love.