Show Your Town Where You Stand: A Call to Action in the Face of Hate
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Last week’s murder of Stephen T. Johns at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC was a call to action for all of us. James W. von Brunn, who had devoted many of his 88 years to hating “Jews and blacks,” walked into the museum with a shotgun at his side and opened fired on Johns, an African-American security guard who held the door open so the elderly von Brunn could enter. Before von Brunn could harm others, nearby museum guards shot the killer several times, leaving him critically wounded.
People across the country are grieving with the Johns family and the community that surrounds the Holocaust Museum. But while we mourn, we also have to organize. Hate violence leaves a wave of fear that spreads far beyond those who are close to the crime. Think of what it is like to walk down the street or gather with your community and worry that someone who doesn’t know anything about you may decide to harm you because of your identity. Every Jewish person, every African-American, every American is harmed by this shooting.