Rep. Debbie Dingell’s Take on Hate rally at the University of Michigan-Dearborn encourages communities to end hateful rhetoric.

Photography by Corrie Colf

On Thursday, Aug. 29 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus, upwards of 40 organizations and Congressional representatives were in attendance for the support of Rep. Debbie Dingell’s Take on Hate rally.

The Take on Hate campaign goal is to end “the hate and divisive rhetoric that is occurring in our country and our communities.”

“We have to stop having people pit us against each other.” Dingell said.

Take On Hate rally

 

Vice chancellor for external relations at UM-Dearborn Kenneth Kettenbeil spoke first, explaining why the university was happy to host Rep. Dingell’s rally.

“This falls in line with our culture, respect and inclusion guidelines. We all know there’s more work to be done,” Kettenbeil said.

Supporters of the Take on Hate movement were in attendance holding up signs with slogans such as “make racism wrong again” and “hate has no home here.”

Take on Hate rally with signs

 

Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Michigan Regional Director, Carolyn Normandin, revealed facts that the ADL has gathered about the rise of hate crimes, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

“Anti-Semitism is on the rise. In 2017, we saw the largest single year increase since ADL began reporting,” Normandin said. “In our country, the threat of domestic terrorism has clearly changed the landscape. Right-wing extremists have killed more people in the year 2018 than any other year since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.”

Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin also spoke to the crowd of participants.

Andy Levin speaks at the Take on Hate rally

 

“In the Torah, the most repeated commandment in different forms is to love the stranger as yourself,” Levin said.  “When you talk about loving the stranger as yourself, it doesn’t mean erasing the differences between you and the stranger — it doesn’t mean making them the same as you. If you want to be loved for the way you are, you have to love the stranger for who they are.”

Tlaib emphasized that we aren’t divided — we are simply disconnected.

“I know you’re scared. I know it is so easy to function from a place of fear, but don’t do it,” Tlaib said. “I promise you that we will prevail. There is more of us than there is of them.”

 

Closing statements of the night came from Dingell, who stood in unity with the representatives of the organizations present.

“We are one. United we stand, divided we fall,” Dingell said. “We stand up to hate and leave here with the message: we will fight those who hurt our neighbors no matter who they are.”

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