SEIU members and leaders have categorically condemned the violence that took place at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota last week and again in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. Our Union pledges to continue to fight to eliminate racism wherever it is found!
Several members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota worship at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, MN. They want and deserve a place to worship without fear and we stand with them and all members of the Muslim faith at this time.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, a violent, hate filled rally by right wing extremists like the KKK and Neo Nazis resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a counter protester, and dozens of additional injuries. The rally was billed as an opportunity for white Americans to fight the influence of Jews in our culture. We stand with our Jewish sisters and brothers, with all immigrants and people of color and everyone else who was targeted by the speeches filled with hate.
As Trade Unionists it is of vital importance that we fight racism wherever we see it. We will make no progress improving our society, our workplaces, or the position of working families in our country unless we reckon with the history of racism and its continuing impact on our lives. Race is a social construct invented to divide us and it is only by coming together, not by ignoring our differences but by embracing and working across our differences, that we are able to make progress.
In the words of Nelson Mandela “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
I also want to echo the words of our own Executive Vice President Jigme Ugen, who emailed a message out to the SEIU staff yesterday- “We must condemn white nationalism, reject hatred, and organize our communities to eliminate racism at all levels. Meanwhile, please take time to care for yourself and those around you with understanding and solidarity founded on the basis of love and humanity.”
I call on all on of us as Union leaders to pause and reflect; to share your thoughts and feelings this week with friends, family and co-workers.
In Love and Solidarity,
SEIU HCMN President