MAKE A RIPPLE OF KINDNESS
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The takeaway - For Religious Communities, What Happens After an Attack?
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn. addressed a packed room at a vigil on Sunday night, one day after a man stormed into the synagogue and gunned worshippers down.
"Words of hate are unwelcome in Pittsburgh," Rabbi Myers said. "It starts with everyone in this room. And I want to address for a moment, some of our political leaders who are here. Ladies and gentlemen: it has to start with you, as our leaders."
The gunman had posted anti-Semitic messages on social media before he killed 11 people and wounded six in the Tree of Life synagogue, with an AR-15 style assault rifle. The attack has been called the deadliest on the Jewish community in U.S. history.
Over the last few years, the U.S. has seen deadly shootings at places of worship across the country.
A 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin killed six people; a 2015 shooting of a historically black church in Charleston, North Carolina killed nine, and a 2017 attack at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 26.
But temples, mosques, churches, and synagogues are supposed to be — quite literally — sacred spaces. Safe places where worshippers are surrounded by family and community members, and where they can be at their most vulnerable.
So when that feeling of safety is ripped away, what comes next?
The Takeaway is joined by three guests, to discuss a path forward for religious communities, after an attack. And they have each, unfortunately, experienced an attack at a place of worship.
Joining us from Kansas is Mindy Corporon, President and Co-Founder of the Faith Always Wins Foundation. In 2014, Mindy lost both her father and fourteen-year-old son, when a Neo-Nazi fired on the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas.
Majority 54 with Jason Kander - What we can do about hate crime
In 2014, there was a shooting outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas - a suburb of Kansas City. The gunman was a white supremacist and the former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. He picked this location because he was sure he would find Jewish children preparing for a talent show.
The gunman killed three people, none of whom were actually Jewish.
Of the three people killed, two of them were related to Mindy Corporon. One was her 14 year-old son, Reat. The other was her father, a practicing physician, who took his grandson to the audition. Mindy was supposed to meet them there. When she arrived at the scene, her life changed forever.
Since then, Mindy has been working to spread a message of peace and kindness that spans every religious background, but she’s also become more familiar with the rise of white supremacists. She’s trying to understand why people are doing this and to prevent others from following in their footsteps.
For the season finale of Majority 54, Mindy Corporon will be speaking with Jason Kander about turning the tide of White Nationalism.
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KINDNESS | INTERFAITH | HEALING