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Love & Hate at home. We must remember.

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St. John's Episcopal Church

211 North Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32301

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Nearly all we ever talk about in the public square is how we are to understand the divisions that are roiling not just America, but the western world. In some ways, the memory of the Holocaust has never been so vivid and present for us than as we struggle through our current circumstance. But too often we use it thoughtlessly – and as a political bludgeon – rather than to remind ourselves of the questions we human beings must always ask ourselves if we are to insure this level of human tragedy will never happen again. We must bring the past to the present with kindness and self-reflection rather than judgement and condemnation – understanding that hate is a human condition that we have to confront and own and not assign only to the other. Why should we remember? What is my responsibility?

Our polarization doesn’t exist in theory in far-off places – ultimately it’s a dysfunction that takes roots (and can grow) in who we are to each other right here where we live. We have already seen signs of the percolation of the anger we feel toward each other in incidents across our community. We’re who give hate oxygen to grow – or refuse to. We can refuse, and to refuse we have to talk. So let’s start the conversation. We’ll talk about hate planted in our homes, our schools and our media – and what we do about.

A scholar studying the conditions that lead to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, author Tim Snyder (On Tyranny, The Road to Unfreedom) argues that we have to steadfastly resist normalizing conditions that can metastasize over time. Vehement disagreement becomes separation which grows into isolation, then to dehumanization of the people we disagree with. And the hate-filled words populate so many of our conversations can too easy slip into violent action – even to world wars and to unfathomable acts of inhumanity.

“I take it that people who are not so very different from ourselves can find themselves in situations that are much more terrifying. I take it for granted that Germany in 1941 [is a place] that humans have been which means that they’re places humans can go.”

We refuse to go there. Hate is a human condition. So is generosity.

*** The header quote is by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who came to embody the conscience of humanity and was awarded the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize. “The best remembrance, and the best tribute we can pay to Elie Wiesel, is to commit to action.” — Irwin Cotler in The Jerusalem Post, reflecting after his death. Learn more about Wiesel’s life and work here.

Joining us:

Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson, 2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida

Roseanne Wood, Leon County School Board Chair

Facilitated by Sally Bradshaw, former Chief of Staff, Governor Jeb Bush; Owner, Midtown Reader


Many thanks to our sponsors Holocaust Education Resource Council, Tallahassee Community College, and Holocaust Education Week. We couldn't do this work without your support!

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*** Note that you can pay by check (ticket price only, no system processing fee) by emailing leslie@villagesquare.us to reserve your ticket(s), and then simply MAIL YOUR CHECK NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30th to: The Village Square, PO Box 10352, Tallahassee FL 32302.


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St. John's Episcopal Church

211 North Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32301

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