The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton condemns hate groups of every kind who begot the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12. Their message of intolerance and bigotry, must be rejected by a moral society. We respect and support free speech and the right to assemble as guaranteed in the First Amendment. Under no circumstances, however, is there justification for the anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric and actions of last Saturday. These speeches and actions echoed Nazi sentiments of the past and contradict every ideal our community cultivates.
Following the events of this past weekend, we continue to be appreciative of active community members, locally and nationally, who are the shields against the hate-filled messages. We acknowledge and deeply appreciate the efforts of those who rebuffed the ideas and goals of the white supremacists. We are proud that Ohio’s elected officials, Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and Governor John Kasich, condemned these actions.
We pray for the quick recovery for the injured, and peace for those who were taken too soon. We grieve with the families of Heather Heyer, Virginia State Police Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M. M. Bates. They will be remembered as having stood for tolerance and equality in the face of prejudice.
We encourage you to remain aware and informed. The weekend’s events in Charlottesville remind us of the challenges our community faces. Those who perpetuate hate, racism, anti-Semitism, and fear do not represent our country’s ideals or dreams. Through our belief in the greater power of acceptance, and through vigilance and cooperation can we repair the world and improve our nation.
Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Cathy Gardner
Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton