As We Mourn Tree of Life Tragedy, Let's Seek What Unites Us

I was horrified and saddened over the weekend as we learned of the murder of 11 Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My thoughts and prayers are with them now. My family and I are also praying for those who were injured in the shooting and every survivor or loved one who is struggling now to come to terms with such a horrific event. I join with leaders from across the political divide and from different faith communities in condemning this tragic, senseless violence.

As a nation, we must do more than just condemn this violent act. We must also condemn the dangerous delusions that have historically fed anti-Semitic hatred and continue to do so today. Fantasies about shadow governments and secret rituals led to the Holocaust and were part and parcel to the segregationist ideology during the civil rights movement. Today, these fact-free conspiracy theories continue to fester in slanders about "deep states" or illicit actors with devious motives. These ideas have no basis in reality and they are dangerous. They are simply avatars created to demonize and dehumanize minorities, including a caravan of Central American migrants seeking nothing more than refuge from violence and poverty.

In Wayne County, every day, I see the tremendous advantage that comes when people of different backgrounds, different races, different religions, etc. work together toward common goals. There is so much more that unites us as human beings and Americans than divides us. We are stronger together.As we continue to work through our grief about the Tree of Life tragedy, I encourage everyone to seek out what unites them with people who may be different. Let us build on that common ground so that perhaps our children and grandchildren can inhabit a society where no one is made to feel unsafe in their house of worship.

-- Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans