As all are certainly aware, we recently lost Congressman John Lewis. This giant of a man was an icon of the civil rights movement and an extraordinary leader whose courage and resolve stood as a moral compass for our country.
John Lewis was a man of compassion, strength, fortitude and of love. He often repeated the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: "Hate is too heavy a burden to bear."
The Congressman made his life's mission a journey in the fight for equal rights for all, in doing so, advocating for delivering on the solemn promise which our country was founded on: that all are created equal.
Yet, racial inequality and structural racism are factual. They are undeniable and antithetical to who we are as a country.
Hatred, prejudice and intolerance of other human beings should have no place in the greatest democracy on the planet but it does. Its weight is exhausting. And very much so for people of color.
Again, hate is too heavy a burden to bear. Treating people poorly based on the color of their skin, or their faith, or their lifestyle needs our attention. Delaying it erodes our souls and comprises all of us.
As a member of the Jewish community, and the President of the Associated Jewish Community Federation, I can attest to our collective commitment to the principles that John Lewis espoused.
I as a Jew know that weight and consequence of hatred.
Love and not hate, each human being being created equally, ideas that need our attention. May the Congressman's memory be for a blessing in guiding us along this critical path.
Marc Terrill is President of The Associated