WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Bipartisan Praise of the United We Stand Summit
Tomorrow, President Biden will host the United We Stand Summit to counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety, highlight the response of the Biden-Harris Administration and communities nationwide to these dangers, and put forward a shared vision for a more united America. The United We Stand Summit will present an important opportunity for Americans of all races, religions, regions, political affiliations, and walks of life to stand together to help heal the soul of our nation.
See what a bipartisan group of leaders are saying ahead of the Summit:
Mayor David Holt, Oklahoma City, OK: “We certainly can use more of this. Our @OKCNM illustrates the price of hate, dehumanization & political violence. It is long past time for each of us to elevate our discourse & assume that obligation personally. Looking forward to the ideas that will come out of this summit.”
Fmr. Rep. Mia Love (R-UT): “The greatest threat to America is the contempt-driven hatred and politically-poisoned rhetoric we are spewing toward each other. We must realize that as Americans we are sisters and brothers and fellow travelers with common hopes, dreams and goals. Hate and the violent words, attitudes and actions that follow have no place in this most extraordinary nation.
America is at its best when we are country of big ideas, diverse opinions and respectful, rigorous debate. ‘We the people’ must choose to live up to the better angels of our nature.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD): “I’m delighted that President Biden has announced the United We Stand Summit to reject political violence and heal America’s divisions. Leaders from across the spectrum will convene to discuss how we can overcome extremism and foster safe & civil political discourse.”
Governor Spencer Cox (R- UT): “It’s never a bad thing to invite people from different parties to sit down, learn about each other, and figure out together how to bridge hate and division. We’re always looking for opportunities to find common ground.”
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY): “For Buffalo, the terror and destruction of hate-filled violence is personal. Next month @POTUS Biden will be leading a conversation on how we can work to bring people together rather than tear communities apart.”
Mayor John Giles, Mesa, AZ: “We are better when we lead with compassion and look to what we have in common rather than our differences. Hate-fueled violence has no place in our country. Let’s focus on what brings us together rather than what tears us apart. #TogetherMesa #UnitedWeStand”
Fmr. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA): “For the past decade there has been a troubling increase in hate crimes and violence against minority, religious and ethnic groups. I welcome President Biden’s Summit and the needed bipartisan attention to this issue at every level of government – federal, state and local – as well as from our religious communities. Hate crimes and the violence it creates divides our communities and strikes fear in those who are targets. We must stand united against such violence and encourage our elected officials, law enforcement, and leaders at all levels to work together in the way President Lincoln once inspired his countrymen – touched ‘by the better angels of our nature’.”
Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy for the Orthodox Union: “We @OUAdvocacy welcome the plan to convene, per our advocacy, a @WhiteHouse summit on combating hate-fueled violence, including #antisemitism. We look forward to further partnership w/@POTUS & others on this critical front.”
Salam Al-Marayati,President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council: “We welcome the United We Stand Summit. Only through unity can we defeat this cancer in our society. We believe in developing a better understanding as the primary means of defeating hate and for bringing light to the situation to overcome the darkness. “United We Stand” promises to be an excellent first step to understanding the problem and creating lasting change that will reduce hate-based violence.”
Sister Donna Markham, President of Catholic Charities USA: “At a time when our society is becoming increasingly contentious and divisions between us more extreme and dangerous, the importance of opportunities such as the White House unity summit, “United We Stand: Countering Hate-Fueled Violence Together,” could not be more timely. It is crucial that we hear the voices of those with whom we disagree without engaging in violence, personal attacks and vitriolic interchanges that serve only to divide us further and shred the beautiful tapestry of our national identity.”
The Sikh Coalition: “Today, the Biden Administration announced that on Thursday, September 15, @POTUS will host the United We Stand Summit at the @WhiteHouse to counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our nation. The event falls on the anniversary of the 2001 hate-fueled murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi and the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing–both painful reminders that white supremacist hate violence is not a new phenomenon in our nation. We can no longer allow white supremacy to spread and continue to cause long-lasting harm to our houses of worship, community centers, and people. The Sikh Coalition continues to work with the White House to address hate violence and looks forward to participating in the summit.”
Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College and Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College: “The @WhiteHouse is planning “United We Stand: Countering Hate-Fueled Violence Together.” It indicates a commitment to “put forward a shared, bipartisan vision for a more united America.”
MultiFaith Neighbor Network: “Just as we are working to build resilient communities together despite theological differences, the United We Stand Summit will be an opportunity for Americans of all races, religions, regions and political affiliations to prevent acts of hate together.”
National Latino Evangelical Coalition: “The @WhiteHouse is calling for a united stand against hate-fueled violence. No matter your political affiliation, all people of good will should work to end hate-fueled violence. Ending violence is a non-partisan activity. Let’s work on it together.”
Jim Wallis, Founder of Sojourners and Director of the Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice: “No matter our politics, it is time for faith & community leaders to unite together against the escalation of fear + hate that is causing a rise in political violence. So I am grateful for the White House United We Stand Summit on September 15. I’ll be there with hopes & prayers.”
All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center: “ADAMS has long history of Interfaith and MultiFaith work going back to the 1990s. ADAMS has consistently worked together with Protestant, Roman Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Latter-day Saints, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Baha’i, Buddhist, and Zoroastrian faith communities to counter all hate and bigotry. ADAMS looks forward to working with the White House on this MultiFaith effort. We have worked with Local, Regional and National Law Enforcement to partner together for safer and peaceful communities.”
The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign: “The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign welcomes the “United We Stand: Countering Hate-Fueled Violence Together” Summit at The White House on September 15, 2022, and looks forward to participating in this important convening. As a national multifaith coalition of religious denominations and faith-based organizations, we are committed to addressing, countering, and preventing anti-Muslim discrimination and violence in the United States. We help faith communities understand that anti-Muslim discrimination is not just a Muslim issue. It is a problem that impacts us all. In this work, we have the privilege of working with national and local “uniters” who are faith and community leaders building bridges and countering discrimination and hate-fueled violence at all levels of society. We are eager to partner with all those who are committed to creating safer and more resilient interconnected communities here in our nation. We thank our nation’s leaders for prioritizing this important and necessary effort.”
Civic Leaders and Civil Rights Leaders
Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League: “The murderous attack in Buffalo, NY by a white supremacist, the Synagogue shooting in Pennsylvania, bomb threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the heinous attack against Asian women in Atlanta are just a few examples that prove the threat of hate-fueled violence and extremism is growing at a rapid pace. Set on the anniversary of the tragic 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963, the United We Stand Summit will give officials from all levels of government, faith leaders, civil society groups, and directly impacted communities across the country the opportunity to address these issues firsthand. We commend President Biden for his leadership in organizing this summit and giving these groups a platform to acknowledge the lasting impact these incidents have on our communities. This is a necessary first step to addressing the spread of violence and preserving our democracy.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League CEO and National Director: “Hate and extremism are at a historic high. They threaten our democratic institutions and undermine our norms of inclusion and tolerance. Violent extremists like white supremacists threaten our children and our neighbors, and they create terror that reverberates across our communities. United We Stand promises to be an excellent first step to understanding the problem and creating lasting change to reduce these threats.”
John Bridgeland, President and CEO of Civic Enterprises and former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President George W. Bush: “American greatness starts with the big idea that we can disagree without demonizing each other so we can move forward in common purpose. I’m excited to see the President call on all of us – even his Administration’s fiercest critics and members of the opposition party – to take a stand against hatred and violence to help heal our land and get our country moving again. Combating hatred and violence is not a red or blue cause. It’s an American cause.”
Michael Gerson, Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning, President George W. Bush: “Nothing is more destructive to democratic self-government than the dehumanization of political opponents, which invariably turns into an excuse for intimidation and violence. A firm, concerted, bipartisan response — in which people of every ideological background are willing to confront the offenses of their own supporters — is the only way to expose and stigmatize this dangerous trend in American life. And such a response must be rooted in a conviction that all people — political allies and opponents alike — are created with equal rights and dignity. This belief is the basis for a successful democracy, and the much-needed focus of the administration’s summit.”
Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder and President, National Action Network: “In late May in the aftermath of the Hate Massacre in Buffalo, NAN & 3 national groups called for a White House Summit on Hate Violence. It is good to see that the WH announced such a Summit today. We look forward to a substantive and concrete event.”
Arthur Brooks, Professor at Harvard University and Former President of American Enterprise Institute (AEI): “This is such a great country. But we are weakening it from the inside out by not standing together. America and its strength are a gift to the world. We have an opportunity to make the world a better place, but only if we stand together. And our strength is in our diversity and in our differences. Let’s all be an example of how we can still love each other – especially when we disagree. I will be proud to see what happens from this important Summit and praying for its success.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: “We welcome the @WhiteHouse’s announced United We Stand summit to counter the ongoing threat of hate violence. We look forward to participating in the summit and continuing the important work of addressing this scourge on our democracy.”
Peter Wehner, Director of the Office of Strategic Initiative and Deputy Director of Presidential Speechwriting under President George W. Bush: “We need to come together in common purpose to address hate and violence in America. I’m heartened to see the President initiate a White House Summit to bring Americans together to find solutions to this national challenge.”
Sindy Benavides, CEO of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC):
“Unfortunately, the Latino community, as well as many other minority and religious communities, have been victimized over and over again by deadly gun violence. As a civil rights and social justice organization, LULAC applauds the White House for bringing this issue to the forefront and acknowledging that government needs to have a leading role in addressing domestic extremism in all forms. LULAC looks forward to working with the Biden Administration, law enforcement, stakeholders at all levels of government and other community groups to find long-term solutions.”
John C. Yang, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice — AAJC: “Asian Americans Advancing Justice — AAJC commends the Biden administration for announcing its ‘United We Stand’ Summit to bring Americans together to discuss how we can build bridges and address hate-fueled violence and division. We look forward to sharing our perspectives on what Asian American communities need to feel safe in the face of ongoing anti-Asian hate and reinforcing our commitment to building solidarity across communities impacted by hate.”
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality: “We see examples every day of the rising threat from violence fueled by extremism and hate. Whether you’re transgender or not, Black, white or brown, born in the United States or a newcomer to our country, extremism and hate impact all of our lives and put all of us at risk. Violence against transgender people, particularly Black transgender women, is on the rise, stoked by attacks from some politicians who want to divide our communities for political gain. The Biden-Harris administration recognizes the danger of hate-fueled violence and is taking a stand against it. President Biden understands the severity of anti-trans violence and the risk that hate and extremism pose to our democracy, and he’s doing something about it.”
Margaret Huang, President and CEO, Southern Poverty Law Center: “We welcome President Biden’s announcement today that the White House will host a national summit next month to address hate violence and extremism. President Biden has repeatedly demonstrated that he understands the importance of speaking out against hate. We hope the summit will provide an opportunity for elected officials and faith, business, and community leaders to come together to identify best practices to address hate-fueled violence. And we hope this event will launch a continuing commitment to address these issues in our communities…We applaud the president’s important effort to help unify our nation and we stand ready to assist in this essential work.”
Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Interim President: “We are living in a time of polarization and extremism, with dangerous, extremist rhetoric on the rise. We have seen a marked increase in online vitriol against LGBTQ+ people that has led to acts of intimidation and violence in real life – not to mention an increase in state legislation that targets the LGBTQ+ community. The rise of this online hate does not have only political implications; violent rhetoric leads to stigma, radicalization, and ultimately violent actions. Nearly one-in-five of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias, and the last two years have been the deadliest for transgender people, particularly Black transgender women.
“The “United We Stand Summit” cannot come at a more crucial time, and the Human Rights Campaign is grateful to President Biden for focusing on this key issue and convening this event. We look forward to joining with other leaders to combat the rise of extremism and violence.”
Jim Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media: “Next month’s @WhiteHouse summit on hate-fueled violence in the country could not be more important. In the meantime, we can all do our part to help protect our kids from deadly violence spawned by online hatred & lies—whether in the classroom or chatroom. #SocialMedia provides the cover to openly display and share hatred and ignorance, intentional misinformation, and acts of violence. Promoting hatred online is inexcusable, as is #BigTech companies’ deliberate effort to profit from it. #StopHateforProfit. Time and time again, hatred for others is the catalyst for gun violence that ends in tragedy. We must hold #BigTech accountable so that #SocialMedia and other online platforms can no longer serve as safe spaces for racism, antisemitism, and all forms of prejudice to fester. The @WhiteHouse summit must also focus on how these platforms amplify hate in the pursuit of profit. #SocialMedia’s role in spreading hate-filled messages, misinformation, and disinformation cannot be overlooked, now or in the future.
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum: “NAPAWF applauds the White House’s announcement to host the United We Stand Summit in an effort to counter hate-fueled violence, prevent radicalization and mobilization to violence, and foster unity. NAPAWF appreciates President Biden’s recognition of the need to discuss and address hate-fueled violence.
“Violence has been rising in our community over the last few years in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing political extremism,” says Isra Pananon Weeks, Interim Executive Director and Chief of Staff of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). “This violence has disproportionately impacted AAPI women, who are twice as likely to have reported incidents of discrimination. We are heartened by President Biden’s actions to address hate-fueled violence and will continue to advocate that our community and others most impacted by growing violence are centered in the strategies to address this critical issue.”
Stop Hate for Profit Coalition: “The nation’s leading coalition of civic advocacy organizations committed to protecting civil and human rights and the well-being of families online, Stop Hate for Profit (#SHFP) applauds the Biden White House for announcing a summit on what can be done to reduce hate fueled violence in America in the wake of mass shootings rooted in racism, antisemitism, hatred, and America’s very real youth mental health crisis.
“As a coalition that has focused on the role that social media plays in spreading hate-filled messages, misinformation, and disinformation, we believe the summit is a critical opportunity to shine a bright light on the well documented amplification of hatred by social media platforms in the pursuit of profit. We can and must reduce the spread of online hatred and lies that lead to deadly violence.”