Two women recently took their children to vandalize a Tempe, AZ mosque for the ‘good of America’ and recorded the entire abhorrent act. Days later they targeted me and several other people, including a child, as we simply walked along the sidewalk. For those who do not believe hate groups are becoming bolder, I hope this evidence of such boldness serves as a wake-up call.
More unsettling than words of hate is the lack of condemnation from Arizona’s elected leaders on the state and federal level. While the women in Tempe were arrested for crimes that will include a ‘Hate Crime Enhancement,’ Arizona’s highest lawmakers have remained silent.
No one - not the Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, or Arizona’s two senators - have reached out to the affected communities or released a statement about what occurred, even though the story has received national attention.
Only local state and city representatives, along with several candidates running for various statewide and federal offices, have expressed condemnation of the acts and shown support for the community.
Condemning hate should not be seen as political; it is just human decency. This was a unifying opportunity for Arizona, something everyone should have been able to agree on. Hate crimes are illegal and not reflective of American values. The GOP has made a conscious decision not to condemn the perverted patriotism that encourages the mentality and actions of these women - which makes us all unsafe. Their silence is deafening.
In the increasingly divided political landscape we currently find ourselves in, it is up to all of us to stand up against hate and ignorance. We have the opportunity every day to be an ally to those in need. You don’t have to go to a protest or donate money to a cause you believe in, though those are great ways to make your voice heard. It is sometimes as simple as condemning a dehumanizing comment when you hear one in conversation. As small as that act may seem, it can make all the difference in changing minds and pushing our country forward.
The American people deserve better from all leaders, especially when they claim to love America, but it’s up to all of us to be each other’s allies every day.