Friday, March 10, 2017
|Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts|
This week our community was shaken by public expressions of hate. In Kent, Deep Rai, a US national of Indian origin, was shot and told to “go back to your own country.”
At Paramount School Park, racist and xenophobic graffiti was found in the men’s bathroom. Across the nation, and in our region, Jewish community centers and the Jewish Children’s Museum have experienced bomb threats. Racist graffiti was found on a church property in New York.
These acts of hate are unacceptable in our country and our community.
These acts drive us to live in fear and hinder the free flow of ideas and commerce that lead toward a more productive, more inclusive society.
I signed a pledge last month with over 75 elected officials in King County to promote safe, welcoming, and inclusive communities, and to honor and uphold the dignity, equality, civil and human rights of all people. I believe it is important to promote fairness, equity, and equality in the actions we take as elected officials.
Late last month, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture at UW Bothell from Dalia Mogahed, and moderated by Shoreline resident Dr. Karam Dana, to learn more about Islamic culture in the United States.
In her talk, Mogahed said, this is a “time of uncertainty, upheaval and opportunity for our country, Dana pointed out that, “these have been very difficult times, for not only American Muslims, as they highlight and question larger dynamics of American values like religious freedom and inclusion in today’s political landscape.” They encouraged audience members to become champions for religious tolerance and religious liberty.
I am proud of the diversity in our community. I am proud that many residents immediately contacted the Council expressing their outrage against the racist graffiti in our parks.
My hope is that our residents continue to seek out opportunities for dialogue about the many issues facing our community and reach out to their neighbors through simple acts of kindness. This is how our community will remain strong.