The Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was followed in my email overnight by messages that couldn’t be more divergent: One was a call for peace and prayer; the other a call for white nationalism.
Interfaith Arkansas issued a statement on the shooting and noted that Rabbi Barry Block has invited the public to a memorial service at 6 p.m. Monday at Temple B’nai Israel in Little Rock. Said the statement:
Interfaith Arkansas throughout its nearly 60 years of work, has worked closely with the Jewish community in Arkansas as partners seeking openness, inclusion, justice and peace for all. We stand today in solidarity with our Jewish communities in light of the senseless killings in the synagogue in Pittsburgh and condemn the violence against Jewish people and their holy places. We are deeply concerned and troubled by the creation of a culture where this kind of civil and anti-Semitic violence expresses itself.
We encourage leaders, individuals and communities to live out attitudes and actions of faith, love, compassion, kindness, justice and peace in the face of people who perpetrate hate and violence.
Coincidentally — but perhaps not — the Arkansas Times received another encouragement early this morning to publicize a National Socialist Movement rally Nov. 10 at the Arkansas state Capitol. The group has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the country’s largest neo-Nazi groups. The sentiment expressed in a release about the event reminds me of the white male victimhood you hear so often in mainstream Republican politics.
In America, the White population is always told: “Diversity is our greatest strength” as we are pushed towards minority demographic status, our treasured Confederate war memorials are being torn down, and both Democrats and Republicans actively work against White interests.
“Very fine people,” somebody once said following a tiki torch parade in Charlottesville, Va.