Our statement on attacks on Muslims in New Zealand

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NESRI joins with our Muslim family and broader community in mourning in the aftermath of this horrific white supremacist mass shooting. You are not alone. We stand with you. We weep with you. We will not forget your loved ones. In their name, we pledge to rise up against white supremacy — in our institutions, on our streets, online, in our homes, and in our own hearts. We also encourage people worldwide to provide donations and support to the families of victims as soon as that information becomes available.

This massacre was fueled by the same white nationalist hate that led to mass shootings against other communities of color in their houses of worship — Sikhs in the gurdwara of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Black Americans in Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, and Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

This tragedy occurred on Friday afternoon when the mosque would have been filled with people who gathered for Friday prayers, just as the Pittsburgh killer attacked Jews at their synagogue, and the Charleston killer attacked an African American Church. In the wake of this terrible attack we call on elected officials to commit themselves to opposing hate speech and hate violence in every form, but we equally call on citizens to demonstrate acts of solidarity with their Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and others. Elected officials have the opportunity and the platform to bring people together and affirm our human solidarity. This type of violence is a direct result of politicians exploiting social division and sowing fear. Whether it’s separating families through the Muslim Ban, taking children away from their families at America’s border, or dehumanizing refugees in Europe politicians who drive these messages encourage the worst.

It’s also clear that social media platforms and tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google are directly responsible for spreading this hate, white supremacist ideology, and violence. These companies have made it clear they cannot regulate themselves. We need collective public solutions, including strict regulation, anti-trust action to break up tech conglomerates, and turning privately held platforms into public utilities.

This act of mass violence was the result of white nationalist ideologies that we all have the power to eradicate. We recognize that white nationalism is a global epidemic. We pledge to take action to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions and cultures. And when we grow tired, we will remember the faces of those who have been killed and take one another's hands and continue our labors for love and justice in their name.

Some language in this post inspired by statements from Muslim Advocates, Revolutionary Love Project, and from the RISE Together Fund.