Taking a Stand Against Hatred

An Open Letter to the LA Jewish Community

November 30, 2016

Los Angeles Jewish Community,

Our Jewish response to hatred has always been to put ourselves on the path of justice. In the wake of this election, which has catapulted Donald Trump to the presidency, it is important that we stand together as a community and protest a series of his appointments, beginning with Stephen K. Bannon. Bannon is the former executive chair of Breitbart News, an online platform for the alt-right, a 21st century re-articulation of racist and misogynist white supremacy in this country. Bannon left Breitbart in August to serve as Trump’s presidential campaign CEO and has recently been appointed by the President-elect as his Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.

Jewish values dictate that we speak out and stand up in the face of bigotry and intolerance. Our history and tradition tell us about the transformative power of words, which can be destructive or creative. Breitbart’s active spreading of hate speech has helped to embolden xenophobia of all kinds, including Anti-Semitism. This demands a communal, creative, and vocal response from Jews. Silence cannot be an option. If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

As a diverse community of Jews and allies, we know that our liberation is tied to the liberation of all people, ourselves, and the earth we live on. We stand in solidarity with all those who are targeted by systemic oppression. Now, more than ever, we must be united in the face of hatred and speak truth to power as one. If I am only for myself, what am I?

The undersigned of the Los Angeles Jewish community denounce Trump’s appointment of Bannon, and resist the normalization of white supremacy and state-sanctioned hate. We affirm the basic values of freedom and dignity for all and believe that we must build this world with love.

The importance of this moment demands that we gather together, united. All are invited to a public demonstration of our faith and values this Sunday, December 4th at 10 AM, outside Breitbart News’ Los Angeles headquarters (exact location TBA: check here Friday morning, 10am). We will join together for speeches, songs, and a reaffirmation that in this moment, we stand against hatred and choose the side of love. If not now, when?

#JewishResistance

IfNotNowLA, laifnotnow@gmail.com