San Diego faith leaders denounce white supremacist groups
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A broad alliance of religious and interfaith leaders is condemning the rise of white supremacist groups.
Following the death of an anti-racist activist in Charlottesville, Virginia, the inter-faith group and members of the San Diego Organizing Project held a news conference at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego to express their opposition to hate and white supremacy.
The speakers included pastors, rabbis, bishops and an Imam, representing different faiths and denominations.
Rabbi Devorah Marcus of Temple Emanu-El said that people of faith and conscience cannot remain silent.
“Silence conveys acceptance and it makes it seem as if no one stands in opposition to these vile ideas,” Marcus said.
Other leaders suggested that limited views of race give space for racist ideas to take root. Mary Sue Brookshire, a pastor with the United Church of Christ said she hopes to open up a conversation about race and white privilege with her white congregation.
“I am convinced that for too long, too many of us, especially white clergy, thinking that we are good people, have done too little,” Brookshire said. Bishop Robert McELroy, the head of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego says he is working with diocesan educators to make the events in Charlottesville, part of classroom studies for all Catholic school students next year.
In talking about Charlottesville, the bishop said, “we have to say this is unacceptable in our faith. It is unacceptable in our nation and it is unacceptable in the world that we seek to build.”
Because the religious leaders say they are anticipating more rallies and marches by hate groups, they are calling on local law enforcement to prepare in advance for the possibility of white supremacist demonstrations in San Diego.