Race Forward Statement on Hate-Motivated Mass Violence at Christchurch, New Zealand Mosques

We are heartbroken and angered by the mass violence at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand which has left 50 people dead and dozens injured. We send our deepest sympathies to the family members of victims and to the survivors. We also stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters, brothers, and non-binary siblings in New Zealand and here in the United States. And we take comfort in the Māori saying, Kia Kaha (stay strong), to affirm our organization’s commitment to equity, dignity, and safety for all.

Sadly, the hate violence in New Zealand, fueled by white nationalist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim ideologies, isn’t an isolated occurrence. In the recent past, we have witnessed white nationalists attacking our safe houses of worship here in the United States, from the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue (2018), the Sikh Gurdwara of Wisconsin (2012), and the historic African American Emanuel AME Church in Charleston (2015). White nationalist groups, including those that target Muslims and Jews, are organizing around the United States, and we must not diminish or deny the danger of white nationalist violence here at home or around the world.

We also recognize that the narratives that drove these acts of violence are not merely hateful and despicable, but deadly. When white nationalist ideas and conspiracy theories are weaponized, they have bloody consequences. President Trump and other leaders have fostered the spread of such toxic ideas by excusing them or advancing them. We call on all to challenge these narratives of hate, denigration, and violence and to build power for racially just narratives that lift up the values of justice, dignity and safety for all.

At Race Forward, we are committed to building and supporting the institutions that protect a just, pluralistic, multi-racial democracy. This means that we will double down on our work to dismantle and disempower white supremacist policies and practices, and to center vulnerable communities. We offer our support to Muslim organizations and communities, and reaffirm our commitment to mutual liberation. We call upon elected leaders to condemn all forms of racism, and to take steps to preserve the rights and lives of communities under threat.