An Increase in Hate
December 2, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, David Ogul, our Education and Youth VP, reported an extremely unpleasant incident at the La Mesa Costco. David wears a kippah and tzitzit in public which makes him an easily identified Jew.
One of the shoppers accosted him and began making anti-Semitic comments, specifically accusing him of being cheap and money-grubbing. He also asked his young adult daughter who was with him if she drove a BMW. David was incensed but since no specific threat was made, there was not much he could do except walk away.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently reported that there have been 867 hate incidents since the U.S. Presidential Elections. The Center reported that most of these incidents are directly linked to white supremacists celebrating the election of Donald Trump.
I have included a chart below which the SPLC published which shows the breakdown of these incidents. It is disturbing but informative, that there have been more attacks on Jews than on Muslims. Immigrants and Blacks have suffered the most.
If you would like to read the full report you may do so here.
In a response and a call for tolerance, San Diego clergy of different faiths are sending a letter to the Mayor and City Council of San Diego. I have added my signature and agree that no matter one’s political views, hate speech and hate action should not be tolerated by any member of our society. I have included the letter below:
Dear Mayor Faulconer and Members of the Council:
We, the undersigned leaders of San Diego-area religious communities, write this letter to you, leaders of city government, as an expression of our concern and commitment.
We have been deeply troubled by the often-hateful rhetoric of the recent presidential campaign. Threats of mass deportation, derogatory references to women, false generalizations regarding Muslims, disparaging remarks about persons of Mexican heritage, and challenges to the acceptance of persons who are LGBT have left millions of neighbors fearful for their future in this country. At the same time, we recognize that there are many persons on all ends of the political spectrum who feel left out in our fast-changing society.
As people of religious faith, we affirm that every person deserves to be treated with the dignity that comes from being created by God. Because our traditions teach us to welcome the stranger, we declare our support for refugees and immigrants. Because our traditions emphasize compassion, we declare our solidarity with groups that feel under attack, including Muslims. Together we affirm that diversity of race, religion, and culture is a strength of this city and this nation. Together we affirm that the measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.
We who sign this letter-Catholic, Mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Unitarian Universalists-are incredibly diverse. We do not always agree on answers to the complex issues facing our society. And we are, therefore, acutely aware of the need for civil, respectful dialogue among those who disagree politically. This, too, is a key religious value.
We cannot, however, be silent when vulnerable neighbors feel threatened, whether by individual acts or governmental policies. The values we hold as people of religious faith will compel us to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. This is a crucial role for religious communities, one you need us to fulfill: to be a voice for those whose voice often goes unheard.
Our purpose in writing is to make public our concern and commitment, as well as our hope that you, our elected officials, share the values expressed above and will act accordingly.
(Signed by Clergy of Many Religious Faiths)
Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal