NCHE Statement on Post-Election Expressions of Hate and Bigotry

Archive, Articles | November 18 2016
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In the week since the presidential election, the nation has witnessed an ugly outpouring of hate.  As if a lid had been lifted off of a simmering hot cauldron, a latent but never dormant force of intolerance and bigotry served as a driving force in the election, and found opportunities for expression in its aftermath.  Innocent people and communities have been terrorized as a spike of potential hate crimes has been reported – such as Muslim women’s hijabs being grabbed off of their heads, black college students being called the n-word, swastikas painted on homes and temples.  These actions have outraged us all, and call into question the progress that we have made toward building a more just and inclusive society.

The expressions of bigotry, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia in the aftermath of last week’s election must be stopped.  But the ideology behind these attacks – even if never expressed – also poses a tremendous barrier to building a Culture of Health, which prioritizes equity and values all populations equally.

At the National Collaborative for Health Equity, we stand with all leaders and movements dedicated to principles of love and non-violence.

We demand that all of our nation’s leaders – Republican, Democratic, independent, or other – openly and actively condemn hate, bigotry, and intolerance, and all forms of its expression.

But they must go further.  Leaders must explicitly state the value of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  They must acknowledge and own our nation’s history, which explains today’s persistent racial inequalities.  They must understand their privilege and how it shapes their understanding of and ways of operating in a diverse world.  They must have the empathy to understand the struggles and dreams of new arrivals to our country.

We, too, must act, to compel our leaders to action.  We must link our efforts more effectively and efficiently with our sister and brother social and racial justice movements.  We must raise our voices against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  We must decry the gender bias and misogyny that results in women receiving lower pay for same work, or to face harassment, discrimination, or violence.

We write to you offer opportunities to respond, and in the coming days will open a forum for ideas that you may have.  We’ll:

  • Encourage dialogue within our programs and across the other health equity initiatives to share information, ideas, even reflections and hopes about our nation’s fractured state.
  • Exchange information about movements, demonstrations, and actions that express our outrage over expressions of hate, and stand up to the destructive social hierarchies behind them.
  • Link with movements to build broader coalitions of support for an egalitarian, pluralistic society
  • Offer more training on bigotry and bias, and community-based strategies to erode support for their ideological underpinnings

Stay strong.  Stay courageous.  Stay determined.  And stay tuned for more details from the National Collaborative for Health Equity.  Please know that we support and value your work!

In solidarity,
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Brian Smedley