As we mourn the three victims of the racist shooting rampage in Jacksonville yesterday, we must also take stock of what fuels the unbridled hate and conspiracy theories that propel extremists to carry out such wanton acts of violence.

We’ve seen this before in Buffalo, Charlottesville, Charleston, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Poway. And now Jacksonville must be added to this roster of hate-filled tragedy. AJC stands with the Black community in this time of sorrow. 

Together, we must all work to aggressively counter the toxicity of white supremacy and other forms of hate. From government and law enforcement, to social media companies and the business community, there is a role we can all play to reject hate and prevent it from spreading. 

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1965, when he accepted an award from AJC, “There is a danger of silence today which unintentionally encourages evil to flourish.” The same holds true in 2023. We must not be silent. We cannot live in fear. We will not.

Tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, when Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. We should use his words of inspiration as guidance to help us realize that as far as we have come, there is a great distance we must still go.


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