29 Oct PRESS STATEMENT – October 29, 2018
We at the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights have watched, with concern and sorrow, the horrific violent events of the past week. Our hearts and sympathies go out to the victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, who had gathered on Saturday morning to celebrate their Sabbath together in peace. We grieve for their loss and for the pain experienced by the community of Squirrel Hill. We mourn the senseless racially-motivated killings in Louisville and elsewhere. We are alarmed by pipe bombs mailed to civic leaders, apparently aimed at silencing opposing views.
Our country and its laws stand for free speech, respectful civic engagement, and value for the basic human dignity of all people. These basic rights, expressed in our Constitution and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights so prominently displayed in our Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, should be protected for people of every race, faith, sexual orientation, and background.
We can strive to build a better and safer world by educating hearts and minds, exchanging ideas, and working tirelessly to respect and celebrate our differences. By educating students from our city, state, and beyond, about respecting others’ basic rights, we can help them to stand up to bigotry. We must promote civic responsibility in individuals and communities and inspire others to stand up against injustice and hate. By helping teachers and students of all ages understand the need for empathy, dignity, and compassion, we can reduce, and some day end, the senseless violence.
We fully support the unifying messages from Mayor Bieter and our local leaders. Let’s now remind each other to always be upstanders, and to advocate together for human rights and basic human dignity for everyone.