A horrifying week of hateful violence was capped off by the Friday morning torching of a mosque by terrorists.
Fire alarms and water sprinklers went off at 2 a.m. Friday morning at the Daarus Salaam (“House of Peace”) Mosque of New Tampa, Florida. Police announced that all evidence points to arson. The building was heavily damaged by smoke and water from the sprinklers, but thankfully nobody was hurt.
— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) February 24, 2017
It is just the latest in a string of appalling anti-minority violence targeting both Muslim and Jewish Americans.
Last weekend, over a two hundred gravestones were vandalized at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in Missouri. Within a few days, however, Muslim groups had raised over $120,000 to help the cemetery replace the damaged stones in an inspiring show of unity and compassion between religious communities.
On Monday, eleven Jewish centers across the country were evacuated after they received bomb threats, bringing the total number to 70 since the beginning of the year.
A Jewish-named hospital in Houston, Texas was evacuated after several people made hoax 911 calls reporting a mass shooting that never occurred. The Anti-Defamation League’s headquarters in New York were hit with a bomb threat on Wednesday.
But the most disturbing event of the week occurred Wednesday night, when Adam W. Purinton of Olathe, Kansas, shot and killed two Hindu men while yelling “get out of my country,” falsely believing that they were Muslim.
All of these events happened in just one week in Trump’s America. White supremacists, neo-Nazis, and your ordinary racists are emboldened like never before.
The signals they’re receiving from the White House all indicate that this kind of behavior will be ignored as white supremacy groups are taken off the terror watch lists and Trump picks a fight with the Anne Frank Center For Mutual Respect while refusing to properly condemn anti-Semitism in America.
— Donnie2Scoops (@ResistTrump2017) February 24, 2017
We can only expect more of these kinds of hateful incidents in the future. We must stand together and go out of our way to make sure everyone in our communities is safe and knows that they are welcome. This isn’t normal, and this isn’t who we are.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.