Houston, TX, October 27, 2022…..On the anniversary of the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Houston Coalition Against Hate and ADL Southwest stand together with the Jewish community, and in the strongest terms condemn antisemitism, racism, and bigotry. Our friends and families in the global Jewish community are fearful and hurting.
Elie Wiesel said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” Houston Coalition Against Hate and ADL Southwest are present in the community, and we are not indifferent. We offer our presence and resources to support belonging, justice, and freedom from fear. Together in solidarity, along with our Coalition of 60+ members, we put forth a broad community call to action.
The antisemitic rhetoric of Kanye West and the former President is a call to violence against Jewish people and a threat to democracy everywhere. The subsequent response of white nationalist and supremacist groups are demonstrative of the prevalence of hatred against Jews and a desire to unhinge civil society. Hateful rhetoric incites violence and creates divisiveness.
There is no place for Mr. West’s antisemitic hatred, nor for the racist mockery of Black Lives Matter with his outrageous support of the racist White Lives Matter movement within the global creative community. Fighting one type of hate is unsuccessful without fighting all types of hate.
The rationale that Mr. West’s antisemitism and racism is related to or due to his mental health issues is unacceptable, and should be considered an affront to the mental health community.
Houston Coalition Against Hate and ADL Southwest call for a swift and united response by other corporations, financial sponsors, and collaborators of Mr. West to:
(1) actively transform organizational culture in the art, music, and fashion industries that have long supported antisemitism and racism as unspoken policy or practice;
(2) formally and outwardly denounce hate speech, hate incidents, and hate crimes; and
(3) take ongoing steps to bring awareness to antisemitism, racism, and bigotry within the global community.
According to Houston Coalition Against Hate and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work’s recently published report, Building Hate Crime Response Capacity in Community Based Organizations (CBOs), non-response, silence, and neutrality embolden perpetrators. Hate incidents in communities are precursors to hate crimes.
We stand unified and invite you to join us in active allyship and connection through community-building, responsiveness, and education.
For more information or to set up an interview, call Houston Coalition Against Hate Director of Operations Swati Narayan at 832-224-6271, or ADL Senior Associate Director Dena Marks at 832-567-8843.