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Stronger Together: A Message from Dean Middleton

Oct 29, 2018
Stronger Together
A message from Dean Middleton:
This weekend saw three hate-filled crimes in America. In Pittsburgh, 11 people were killed at the Tree of Life synagogue, shot to death in their place of worship because of their religion. They were:
Joyce Feinberg, 75
Richard Gottfried, 65
Rose Mallinger, 97
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Cecil Rosenthal, 59
David Rosenthal, 54
Bernice Simon, 84
Sylvan Simon, 86
Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 88
Irving Younger, 69
These were real people with real lives and very well could have been our aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, or neighbors. Indeed, they were our neighbors.
Hatred and bigotry have no place in our community or our country. We should not be silent as events tear at the fabric of our humanity. We must not pretend they didn’t happen.
Words have power. Let’s commit to using our words for good.
In a 1790 letter to Jewish congregations in Newport, Rhode Island, President George Washington wrote that the United States government “gives to bigotry no sanction” and “persecution no assistance,” that “every one shall sit in safety” with “none to make him afraid.”
Almost 175 years later, on Nov. 22, 1963 – the day he was assassinated in Dallas – President John F. Kennedy was slated to give these remarks during a speech that evening:
“Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone, but to the nation, and, indeed, to all mankind (humankind). Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
“So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake.
“Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause – united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future – and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind (humankind) into new frontiers of peace and abundance.”
I encourage all members of The Patton College community to take solace, inspiration, and a commitment to action from Washington and Kennedy. I encourage you to respect all people, educate all people, and remain intolerant of intolerance. An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us. We cannot fully serve a society that does not respect the rights and freedoms of all people.
It has been paraphrased throughout history: All that is necessary for evil to rise is that good men and women sit and do nothing.
Well, nothing we are doing is so important that it justifies silence or inaction. As members of The Patton College, we are CALLED to LEAD.
I encourage you to do so, timidly or boldly, with or without fear. But do or say something today and every day to preserve peace and freedom for all humankind.
“One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice FOR ALL.”
Please join me tonight at Hillel House at 5:30 for a candlelight vigil for Pittsburgh and against anti-Semitism. #StrongerTogether