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Pittsburgh Tragedy Underscores the Danger of Hateful Rhetoric

Shriver Center condemns recent incidents of hate speech and crimes

November 1, 2018

Contact: Ishena Robinson
(P) 312.549.9879


Shriver Center condemns recent incidents of hate speech and crimes

CHICAGO—The horrific shootings which took place in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh last weekend are a devastating reminder of the violence that ultimately results from anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia. The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law is saddened and outraged at the attack on worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and we join the Jewish community and the entire nation in mourning the 11 people who were killed in this act of terror.

This tragedy comes on the heels of the racially-motivated murder of two black residents in Kentucky and is a stark reminder that reckless speech which denigrates and dehumanizes groups of people has fatal consequences. We must all come together in condemning this kind of rhetoric before it opens the door for more acts of violence that target specific communities.

No one should have to live in fear of hate, violence, and terror due to their religion, race, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ identity or immigration status. But as these shootings have shown, racism and bigotry pose both an existential threat and economic barrier to far too many people. These sorts of ideas are not just evident on social media or political speeches, they are also manifest in our country’s major institutions and public policies, hindering the quality of life and chances at opportunity for millions of people in this country. We must tackle head-on the mainstreaming of white supremacy and extremist nationalism and take concrete steps to overcome these blights on our society. Hate speech and hate crimes are clear threats to equity, justice, and inclusivity for all, and must be stopped and fought at every turn.


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients.

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