Opinion | Susan Knopf: Hate has no home here
What? The election isn’t really over? This week, we still had seven races in six Colorado counties too close to call. It turns out the latest numbers in the Colorado governor’s race put Jared Polis a solid 10 points ahead of Walker Stapleton.
We have three recounts going on in Florida, the governor’s race in Georgia and a Senate race in Mississippi. Florida’s current Republican governor, Rick Scott, snapped a photo with Republican U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Scott was identified as a new freshman senator along with other Republican freshman senators, even though his race against incumbent Bill Nelson is still being recounted. (It’s going to be inconvenient, and more than a little embarrassing if this doesn’t go his way!)
The Florida governor’s race is also in dispute. Last count, Republican Ron DeSantis had a .44 percent lead over Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who if elected would be Florida’s first black governor. Just like Colorado, if the difference is less than ½ a percent there’s an automatic recount.
President Donald Trump tweeted: “Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him “back into play.” Bill Nelson conceded Election — now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy! The embarrassment to our country is our president is all about the win, and not about the democratic process, due process, nor the rule of law.”
He continues to stoke the flames of anger and drive the country apart. Chants of “build a wall” and “lock her up” have become hallmarks of an administration determined to unite its base by dividing the country.
We need to figure out how to keep the country together. We can, and will do better. We start by listening and learning.
Beginning with a hand-lettered sign, “Hate Has No Home Here” was started by two Chicago children last year and has grown into an international movement encouraging communities to participate in combating hateful messages and behavior in their neighborhoods. The movement goes beyond the poster or yard sign and asks us to start conversations about protecting and encouraging each other, and making plans for using resources to educate ourselves.
Hate Has No Home Here “promotes just and inclusive communities by encouraging neighbors to declare their homes, schools, businesses and places of worship to be safe places where everyone is welcome and valued,” according to the Hollywood-North Park Community Association in Chicago.
The campaign arrives in Summit County this weekend with the Summit Colorado Interfaith Council hosting a conversation to promote understanding and mutual respect Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Buffalo Mountain Room of the County Commons in Frisco. The public is invited to join this important first conversation.
Summit Colorado Interfaith Council begins the conversation that locals hope will turn the tide of hate and turn Summit County into a community where everyone can feel safe, accepted and valued.
Elie Wiesel said it best in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech nearly 32 years ago, “ … I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.”
Susan Knopf is a Summit County resident. She has won awards from the Associated Press and United Press International for her news reporting.
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Summit County towns have embarked on a social warrior campaign with their Black Lives Matter murals on Main streets, and now they’ve added threatening banners that proclaim “Love This Place? Cover Your Face!”