A spate of bomb threats and vandalism aimed at Jewish community and religious centers nationwide—including the Siegel Jewish Community Center on Garden of Eden Road in Wilmington—have prompted members of the Wilmington community to express solidarity against anti-Semitism and all other acts of bigotry and hatred.
News Conference and Unified Prayer Meeting
Elder Ty Johnson, leader of Churches Take a Corner in Wilmington, has organized a news conference and Unified Prayer Service at Bethel AME Church at Sixth and Walnut on Wednesday, March 1, at 11:45 a.m. Pastor Silvester Beaman will preside at the prayer service, which is open to people of all races and faiths.
On Monday morning, Johnson was reaching out to groups including Movement for a Culture of Peace, Pacem in Terris, churches, and mosques to urge attendance at the unity gathering. “Whenever we see these acts of hatred and threats of violence, we need to stand together and say ‘no, not in our community,” says Johnson.”Domestic terrorism cannot be tolerated.”
Hate Groups in Delaware
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks extremist hate groups nationally, there are four active hate groups in Delaware. It is not known whether members of those groups—which include statewide the III% United Patriots, American Patriots III%, and Oath Keepers—were respnsible for the threats to the Siegel Center.
In Philadelphia Saturday night, nearly 100 headstones and monuments were toppled by vandals at the Mount Carmel Cemetery. The SPLC reports that Pennsylvania is in the top five states in the number of active hate groups. These groups include Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, Neo-Confederate, Black Separatist, Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim, and General Hate.
With the election of Donald Trump, writes Mark Potok of SCLC, “After half a century of being pushed to the very margins of American society, the radical right has entered the political mainstream in a way not even imagined since the 1968 run for the presidency by segregationsit George Wallace.”
New Response Network
Last week, nearly 100 local residents met at First Unitarian Church to hear about a new community-driven network being organized by YWCA Delaware. The meeting was a first step toward organizing an Action Response Network that would respond to acts of hate and bias in Delaware.
Matt Pillischer, YWCA director of Racial Justice and Social Advocacy, told the News-Journal: ““We know that racism, xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia exist when we see subtle and overt actions of intimidation in Delaware and across the country, We want to fight back by building solidarity between people who share our values of inclusion, compassion and principles of human dignity and to build a network ready to act quickly against hate.”
Time to Act is Now
Movement for a Culture of Peace urges its supporters to come out to show solidarity with the Jewish Community Center and all other victims of bigotry, hatred, and bias.
Turn out in force on Wednesday, March 1
Bethel AME, 604 N. Walnut St., Wilmington 19810
11:45 News Conference, followed by Unified Prayer Service
Sign up for the Action Responce Network being organized by the YWCA:
Click Here or contact Matt Pillischer, Director of Racial Justice and Social Advocacy
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302.655.0039 ext. 230.