United Against Hate: Huntsville responds to recent mass shootings

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National tragedies in cities like Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton have been weighing heavily on the hearts of people across the nation. Today, the Huntsville community gathered to discuss the issue of mass shootings and talk about a way forward. 

In times of devastation, we often look to our community and faith leaders for guidance. That’s exactly what’s happening here in Huntsville.

The United Against Hate Forum is bringing a very important discussion to light. Members of the community flocked to First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville to discuss domestic terrorism. Panelists say the first step toward progress is battling ignorance. 

One panelist mentioned, “We have to battle it at every level. That means not letting someone at your dinner table say something derogatory about somebody else. That means going to your school and asking them why they aren’t teaching the real history…”

People are looking for answers, and panelists say, its starts with looking outside your own experience and loving your neighbor. 

The forum included a diverse group of panelists, as people of color are so often the targets of these hate crimes. A topic of discussion was acknowledging the fact that everyone doesn’t have the same experience or privilege. But just recognizing that, brings us one step closer to the solution.

Rev. Michael Goldsmith, a panelist at the forum, says that it’s important to include multiple perspectives in these discussions. He says, “It has to be all people. It has to be every faith. It has to be every race. It has to be everybody, regardless of income or power or whatever it may be you are defined by– or ‘mis-defined’ by. All those voices have to be at the table.”

The forum also emphasized the duty of community and faith leaders to fight off hate and violence when they come across them. 

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