Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families affected by the recent violence in Arizona, and we are inspired by remarkable displays of love, solidarity, and courage shown by the victims of this attack.
As we cast our collective gaze upon an unspeakable tragedy and interpret what happened within a state in dire need of healing, we are compelled to take steps to honor those who have fallen, to strengthen our community, and to build toward a more tolerant and peaceful tomorrow.
Yesterday, we shared a moment of mourning with our brothers and sisters in Tucson. In an event that opened with an indigenous ceremony (a culture now banned from being taught by Arizona law in some schools), that honored a young Gay Latino hero, and that featured a Governor who has cynically stoked the state’s fears, President Obama called on our moral imaginations, encouraged us to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and asked us to live with the understanding that our hopes and dreams are bound together.
Today, we must answer that call.
In recent years, Arizona has been host to a vitriolic debate about immigration that has captured the attention of the nation and the world.
Migrants have witnessed the worst coarsened rhetoric, mean spirited legislation, and despicable acts of violence. But migrant communities have confronted evil peacefully with courage to protect themselves and even courage to love their adversaries.
In the spirit of not accepting the normalization of intolerance, and following the example of those within Arizona who have laborered for a more peaceful society in the face of tremendous hostility, we are asking everyone to tell their own stories of when they have been victimized by prejudice, indignity, and bigotry.
If there is one lesson from those who have built the historical rights and privileges we enjoy, it is this: evil must be confronted so it can be overcome by love. It cannot be ignored and the world needs to know.
Day laborers deeply understand the experience of dehumanizing rhetoric, political intimidation, and senseless violence.
Earlier this week, we published the timeline on AltoArizona.com chronicling a history or hate, bigotry, and violence in Arizona politics.
We ask that you visit the site and tell your own story of intimidation, intolerance, prejudice, and violence.
While Arizona is a flashpoint, we know communities across the country have their own experience. We ask that you help make this a turning point moment by bringing your experiences suffered individually into the nation’s collective conversation.
This weekend, we will draw upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by reaching out to others who are mourning this tragedy and holding vigils and events for tolerance; calling on our leaders to commit to ending the hate in the debate and calling on the government to protect those who work for justice under constant threat.
What Arizona needs, and what all of us need, is to confront the the hard truth of our current political environment with unifying steps.
After we have paused to comprehend the immeasurable tragedy in Arizona, we must now do our part to make a more just society.
The politics of hate may be the norm in Arizona, but the politics of Arizona need not be the norm for the rest of society.
To that end, please share your story and the evidence of intimidation and violence at http://altoarizona.com/history-of-hate.html so that we can document and expose the history of intolerance wherever it emerges and commit to preventing its spread.
No more Arizona’s.
Visit the Timeline at altoarizona.com
Share Your Story at http://altoarizona.com/history-of-hate.html