Recent stories of the detestable, racially motivated attacks on Asian/Pacific Islander/Americans across the United States are difficult to bear; our family, friends, and neighbors have incurred violence and harassment while simply going about their daily routines. These incidents have historical precedence which should not be repeated and are contrary to America’s foundational principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There is no rationale- biological, pathological, moral, legal, ethical, reasonable, or unreasonable- for these malicious assaults against people merely because of the color of their skin, perceived racial traits, and background.

We, the undersigned, are outraged over these acts of domestic terrorism against Asian/Pacific Islander/Americans. We offer our empathy to those victimized by horrific verbal, physical, virtual, and cyber assaults, either directly or indirectly. You are in our prayers for healing, comfort, restitution, and the strength to move on with your lives without fear of the recurrence of similar transgressions.

We condemn this abhorrent aggression, and we invite you to join us to stop these unconscionable attacks by:

  • Speaking out against these atrocities, racial slurs and stereotyping about Asians/Pacific Islander/Americans.
  • Helping to identify perpetrators of these attacks. 
  • Demanding swift apprehension and accountability for those committing these egregious hate crimes.
  • Learning about racism and how to eliminate it in all areas of American life.

As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advised us that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Furthermore, Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer admonished that, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.” Lastly, we are following Civil Rights Activist Angela Davis asserting, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

With gratitude to the Racial Equity Task Force of Christ Church Summit for coordinating the effort to craft this joint statement.

About Rabbi Avi Friedman

I am the rabbi of Congregation Ohr Shalom - SJCC, a progressive Conservative and traditional congregation. I am also husband to Jodi as well as father to Gabi, Jonah, Jessica and Ilana. I have been a part of the Summit community since 2005.
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