We are shocked and outraged, not only by the reported attack on the Somali community, but by the horrific assault on the home of a lesbian couple in Poland.

With the recent success of the Somali Independence celebration, and the affirmation of LD1196 last fall, it seemed that our community had accepted its diversity of races, religions and sexual orientations. However, it seems that some members of our community still can’t respect the inherent worth and dignity of their neighbors, as our principles guide us.

Steve Wessler, of the Center for Prevention of Hate Violence, said the two places you should feel safe are your home and your place of worship. Throughout our history, ignorance has allowed for these secure places to be violated. Are we too complacent to change this course?

Also disappointing is the uneven press coverage given to the pig-rolling “prank.” We were heartened to see that the desecration of the mosque was taken seriously by the press. However, the attack against a local lesbian couple, clearly a hate crime and incredibly vicious, was barely mentioned.

We need to rise up together and show “justice, equity and compassion for all” – not just a few. To paraphrase what Ismail Ahmed said at our Open Arms, Open Mic, there are good Somalis and bad Somalis; good white people and bad white people. When we realize we’re all essentially the same, we’ll stop segregating ourselves into “us and them.”

Elise Giasson, Social Justice Committee

First Universalist Church of Auburn

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