Surviving Hate

kentucky shooting

Maurice Stallard & Vickie Lee Jones

On Wednesday, October 25, in Jefferson, Kentucky, a man attempted to enter a predominately black church where 70 people were gathered. When he was unable to get inside, he instead entered a Kroger Supermarket where he shot and killed Vickie Lee Jones, 67, and Maurice E. Stallard, 69.

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Only a few days later, on October 27, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania another man entered the Tree of Life synagogue, and murdered 11 people after posting an array of anti-semitic and anti-immigrant remarks and conspiracy theories on social media.

Now, as always, we are seeing the media circling and looking for someone to blame. Did the people responsible have psychiatric histories? If so, does that explain why they did such awful things? (Because blaming what's 'wrong' on yet another marginalized group or misunderstood experience is so much easier than looking at the deeper, truer problems in our world.) Was it because of too many guns, or not enough of them? Yet far too few people are talking about the hate that is fueling such violence, and the devastation with which we are left in the aftermath.

This rampant hate and violence touches so many of us in some way. It is terrifying and infuriating, particularly for those who are most closely connected to the groups who have been so blatantly targeted. The losses feel so big, and our grief and anger needs to be seen and heard.

The 'right' thing to say or do may be different for each of us. But, even if you feel unsure of what to do right now, know that - for most of us - it is important to reach out to one another, or be reached out to. See each other. Hear each other. Sit with each other in sadness and rage and fear. Make space for all the emotions. Our pathway out can't include letting any of that fall invisible. At the very least, we can each bear witness to each other's pain.


An On-line Opportunity to Connect Tonight!

Celia Brown (a leader in the movement for human rights and coordinator of 'Surviving Race: The Intersection of Injustice, Disability, and Human Rights') and Phil Schulman (an interfaith chaplain, ordained minister, and psychiatric survivor) will host a Support Call this evening in response to the Tree of Life Congregation attack.

From Phil: These have been days of great violence. If you want to be part of a caring sharing circle... if you wish to offer what's in your heart, receive and give supportive listening, please let's meet here tonight (Monday 10/29, 7:30pm Eastern/ 4:30pm Pacific).

Conference Call number: 218-339-7808 access code: 510 4044. The call will go until it ends.


Local Community Gathering for Grief and Solidarity


Tuesday, October 30, from 6:30-8:30pm @ the Quaker Friends Meeting House, 43 Center Court, #202, Northampton

From the Facebook Event: Join Nishmat Shoom, Anti Zionist Shabbat, and Jewish Voice for Peace Western Mass to gather as a community to sing, mourn, and be together in the aftermath of the violence that occurred at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which has occurred while we are still sitting with outrage and grief over the shooting of two Black people in Louisville, Kentucky, and the news of more damaging efforts to limit the rights of transgender people.

We are all holding so much. This is a time to remember that our future and liberation are bound to the future and liberation of all peoples, and to hold each other close in grief, rage and hope.

Click here to view this event on Facebook.


In Memory of Those Lost...

We Remember Them by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends; We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength; We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart; We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make; We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share; We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs; We remember them.
For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as, We remember them.

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