Demand Elected Officials in Western PA Denounce and Combat Fascism & White Supremacy
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According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Pennsylvania is host to at least five chapters of the KKK, three of which are in the western part of the state, and one of which exists right here in Indiana County. This is not acceptable. Hate organizations with roots that extend to some of the darkest and most shameful aspects of American History are not the building blocks of a healthy growing community.
Pairing this knowledge with our current U.S. President’s reluctance to separate himself from white nationalists and other fascist hate groups known to espouse white supremacy, we are frighteningly aware that fascism has been normalized in increasing measures, impacting the safety, civil rights, and freedom of Americans. After generations of battling to ensure civil rights for all, we are losing our foothold.
Groups that once existed on the fringe of society are now emboldened and exceedingly organized. They are armed and employing violent and invasive tactics - seeking to further marginalize people of color, immigrants, religious minorities (including but not limited to the Jewish community and Muslims), women, the LGBTQIA community, and people living with disabilities.
Below is a petition organized by multiple groups local to the Western Pennsylvania region, including Welcome Home which represents over 300 members of the community. Citizens of Western Pennsylvania are disturbed by the rise of white nationalism in America, particularly in regards to the recent rally in Charlottesville, VA and subsequent white terrorist attack.
Elected officials have a responsibility to their constituents, especially marginalized people here in Western PA who feel vulnerable right now, to create a climate of affirmative acceptance and inclusion.
I. Immediate and widespread public denunciation by our government officials of white supremacy, nationalism, and fascism
II. The declaration of public offices as safe spaces where people of color, members of the LGBTQIA community, women, immigrants, etc. can go to express concerns and expect civility
III. The organization of a task force consisting of community members and elected officials at the state and local level to:
A. Collect and report information regarding hate crimes in the region
B. Create a safe and welcoming community that enables all people to live and flourish without fear of violence or intimidation
C. Clear pathways to ensuring that local law enforcement accurately reports and investigates all hate crimes
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