Durham’s mayor called for the city to speak out against violence and be the counter-example of what he called President Donald Trump and his followers’ “hateful rhetoric.”
Mayor Steve Schewel, who is Jewish, issued a message Monday responding to the mass murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
Schewel wrote about growing up in a very small Jewish community in Lynchburg, Va., and feeling safe even though he occasionally experienced anti-Semitism.
“Like all of you, I am horrified by the slaughter of innocent life in the name of hatred,” he said about the Tree of Life murders.
“We must call on the President and his followers to end the hateful rhetoric that is empowering people on the violent fringes of American life,” Schewel wrote.
“We must stand up boldly against any encouragement — overt or subtle — of those who would slaughter Jews at worship, or send pipe bombs to prominent people in the mail, or slam reporters to the ground, or commit violence against members of our LGBTQ, African-American, Muslim or immigrant communities. Words matter, and all of us need to take a stand now against the casual but purposeful rhetoric that is giving cover to violence,” he said.
Schewel goes on to say that Durham can be a “beacon for the South and the nation” by speaking out against violence in all of its forms.
Read his full statement: