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08/07/2019

PHRC Statement re: shootings in Dayton and El Paso

​For Immediate Release

Harrisburg, PA-The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, staff and Commissioners extend our deepest condolences to the families and communities affected by this past weekend’s horrific tragedies. PHRC confronts hate on a regular basis in our work and we talk back to it in a positive way. Those conversations move our communities to an understanding and calm to continue talking. “White Nationalism is more prevalent in todays society and must be addressed with policy” said Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, We’ve been living in a world where so many embrace our differences rather than our commonalities, and it is becoming “normal”. We must engage and address the real issues like human fragility.” Violence is all around us, yet we’ve seen no real movement by our leaders to address the issues we recognize that allow these tragedies to continue. Commission Chair Joel Bolstein said, “It’s not enough to offer thoughts and prayers. We must work together on real solutions that confront the hatred that has poisoned our public discourse. It wasn’t that long ago that PHRC was aiding the healing process in Pittsburgh after the horrendous shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. Hate simply breeds more hate. What we need is a Pennsylvania-based strategy to confront these repeated hateful acts. PHRC has been holding town halls and engaging communities, but everyone has a role to play, starting with toning down the hateful rhetoric and embracing our common sense of humanity. We urge the Governor and our General Assembly to work together to take bold action in the face of these tragedies.” Mr. Lassiter said, “We here at PHRC will continue to have those conversation and invite our partners and others to the table” he continued, “that includes everyone, not just those who think and feel the same.” We must call to the table gun owners and anti-gun activists, faith-based communities, leaders in the sciences and whites, blacks, Muslims, LGBT and Jews, all must come to the table.” Lassiter said “we will continue to build our coalitions and have those conversations then we will take our ideas to the legislature together, we know there is strength in numbers and when we come together with real life solutions, humanity wins.”

 

Contact: Renee Martin 717-856-5971 renmartin@pa.gov
 

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