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Not hate, but resolve against injustice

To the editor:

John Edelberg’s letter, “A militant sign” (Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Aug. 4), offers a scathing critique of a neighbor and their sign that said, in multiple languages, “Hate has no home here.” Mr. Edelberg states, “It’s an icy reproof to persons supporting immigration policies the owners disclaim as restrictive and hateful.” Unfortunately, Mr. Edelberg’s superficially erudite letter suffers from fatally flawed reasoning.

Mr. Edelberg states, “For when persons post signs declaring they don’t hate, we know they hate.” How does this rise above unsubstantiated name-calling? Is it not possible for Mr. Edelberg to imagine that when a person states, “Hate has no home here,” they mean exactly that? Jesus preached, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

The sign states, “Hate has no home here” in multiple languages, including English. It literally encourages love that is not restricted on the basis of race, ethnicity, language or national origin. To derive an inference of hate from that sign should elicit “concerns about (Mr. Edelberg). Concerns about vanity. And immaturity. And gross political overreach.”

The sign does not explicitly or implicitly encourage illegal immigration. We are a nation of immigrants — many of whom came here legally but still use a first language other than English. Are they to be hated for that reason alone?

Many immigrants living in the U.S. came here when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was actively encouraging immigration (e.g., http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/srbord20120126-u-s-chamber-of-commerce-ease-immigration-laws-to-stimulate-economy). These immigrants have worked hard, raised families, paid taxes, behaved lawfully and otherwise earned the right to live here after having been welcomed here. See https://www.adl.org/resources/fact-sheets/myths-and-facts-about-immigrants-and-immigration-en-espanol. For them to now be treated as pariahs reflects gross injustice.

One who “love(s) thy neighbor” is obliged to work to fight injustice by opposing those who are “debased and hateful.” The great civil rights leader John Lewis encouraged us to fight against injustice with resolve, but with love (https://www.voanews.com/usa/race-america/rep-john-lewis-remembered-legacy-good-trouble).

Mr. Edelberg’s letter is consistent in tone with President Donald Trump and his racist, nativist and xenophobic statements (e.g., “s***hole countries”), appointments (e.g., Stephen Miller) and policies (e.g., Trump “Muslim ban”). Whether ranting about “border security” or rejecting “Black Lives Matter,” Americans who cling to such pernicious thinking are becoming more desperate as they lose ground to those working for compassion, inclusivity and justice.

The best way to respond to people like John Edelberg is to vote in November for Joe Biden and Tedra Cobb, and against Donald Trump and his ardent defender, Elise Stefanik.

David Banks

Rockville, Maryland

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