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Capital Region leaders call for unification to help fight hate

October 29, 2018 07:06 PM

The Pittsburgh synagogue massacre revealed to Americans a world of hate.

In the Capital Region, you'll be glad to know many people are already working hard to make a world of difference.

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Whether or not President Trump's rhetoric is to blame for the Pittsburgh synagogue atrocity, Senator Chuck Schumer says he'll leave that up to each American to decide for themselves.

However, the president's response to it, in Schumer's words, was "sorely lacking".

"He seems still intent on dividing us in the wake of a terrible tragedy," said Schumer. "That is not presidential leadership. America yearns for it."

Perhaps the saddest thing about Pittsburgh is the lack of surprise.

"Unfortunately the rise in anti-Semitism is happening," said Beth Martinez, the Education Director at the Anti-Defamation League in Albany.

She's mindful that anti-Semitic activity rose 57 percent in the United States last year, the biggest increase they've seen since they began to keep track in 1979.

"It is disheartening to know that there is a trend and there is something happening on the rise, but all we can do is to continue to educate," she explained.

The education underway includes a World of Difference Program for anti-bias training and bullying prevention for students, educators, and parents. There's more.

"We also have our 'No Place for Hate' program, where we're working with schools to help create positive school environments so that we can start to work with young people who are the hope to create change in this country," pointed out Martinez.

On a pyramid of hate, Martinez asserts, no act of bias should go unchallenged.

"This is the worst attack on Jewish Americans in the history of the United States. This should really wake people up to what are we doing every day to hold ourselves accountable and how are we as people making sure that we create a respectful environment," she said.

On a pyramid of hate created by the ADL, biased attitudes are at the bottom, the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre is just one level from the top.

The only thing worse on the pyramid -- genocide.


MORE INFORMATION: Anti-Defamation League: A world of difference

Credits

Dan Levy & WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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