As our country struggles with a pandemic, the unfolding story of George Floyd, who died at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, sends chills down our spines. We find ourselves asking the same question Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked in a speech he gave March 25, 1965, in Alabama: “How long?” And in the context of meaning and hope, his answer was: “Not long, because no lie can live forever.”
While it is true that “no lie can live forever,” people across the country have been glued to their screens watching in horror how Mr. Floyd lost his life. The tragedy of continued police violence and brutality toward people of color is incomprehensible and completely unacceptable.
It’s hard to imagine children growing up in fear, seeing the adults in their lives be deprived of their dignity and human rights at the hands of law enforcement, a failed justice system, and the divisive, cowardly rhetoric and lack of leadership from elected officials.
Fear, anger and frustration have resulted in violent protests in several cities including Minneapolis, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta and now ours. Miami’s mostly peaceful protest Saturday sadly took a turn for the worse at dusk. Violence, looting and destructive behavior are not the answer, and certainly not in the spirit of Dr. King’s – and our – vision for America.
The mission of MCCJ is embracing diversity; building an inclusive community. Peaceful protests, candid dialogue and building bridges of deeper understanding are keys to ending inequality and keeping open the doors to “liberty and justice for all.”
We condemn the actions of the officers involved in the death of George Floyd, and encourage peaceful demonstrations in support of a just and inclusive Miami. As we have many times over the last eight decades, we stand ready to help establish the kinds of interactions that lead to lasting peace and equality. It will take real commitment to action and efforts by people of goodwill to dismantle the current barriers to justice. Download the printable version of our statement here (PDF).
With sadness and shock we condemn the shooting at the Congregation Chabad in Poway, California as violence and hate arrives again at another house of worship from Sri Lanka, to New Zealand, to Pittsburgh, to Sutherland Springs, to Charleston and beyond. We extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by this senseless violence and to their family and friends who are in our thoughts prayers. MCCJ renews its calls to loudly and unequivocally denounce hateful rhetoric against our Jewish, Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters and for action by all communities — officials and citizens — to find ways to address violence before another hate crime comes knocking at the door of our Temple, Mosque or Church. MCCJ is dedicated to advancing understanding among different cultures, religions, backgrounds and races based on interfaith respect and good will.
The tragic mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand once again brings us together in mourning. Our condolences and prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones in this terrible act of terror. We also realize there are many in our own backyard who are feeling the pain of this loss, and they fear what the world has become for them and their children. MCCJ Miami stands shoulder to shoulder with all those impacted. We call on everyone to join us by loudly and unequivocally denouncing hateful rhetoric against Muslims that leads to such tragic realities. Every community and faith group has felt the impact of violence by those who try to divide us. Today, it was against the Muslim community, but we have already seen hatred towards teens in schools, worshipers in churches and synagogues, the gay community at a nightclub — the list goes on. This must stop, and prayers are not enough. We encourage local efforts from the entire community — officials and ordinary citizens — to find ways to address violence before another hate crime comes knocking at our door. MCCJ Miami is dedicated to advancing understanding among different cultures, religions, backgrounds and races. Together we, who hope for a better world, will march forward in solidarity against the voices and acts of division and hate. Brian Dervishi, Chairman of the Board
Nestor Rodriguez, Executive Director
MCCJ joins our Jewish brothers and sisters, communities, and all people of good will in expressing our indignation, dismay and heartbreak over the senseless murder of innocents at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. We call upon all to join us to stand united against such evil and wickedness, and to prove that Love truly conquers Hate.
Thank you to all