Inslee statement: We need leaders who speak against fear, not use it

Story Body

“This is a difficult and anxious time for anyone in our nation who doesn't look, love or worship like the majority. The attack in Pittsburgh yesterday was an attack on all Americans, as were the pipe bomb attacks on those who have stood up against the endless venom and division coming from our nation’s capitol. The president’s answer – to arm our teachers, to arm our synagogues – is wildly contrary to the task of building the community we seek. We don’t need our leaders calling on us to be armed, we need our leaders to ask us to open our arms to one another. We need leaders who speak against fear, not use it.

“We have had many dark chapters in our nation’s history where forces of xenophobia, bigotry, racism, misogyny and nationalism were able to gain a foothold. Once again we find ourselves in the midst of another dark chapter. It is not enough now for any one of us, particularly our national leaders, to disavow these forces. Neutrality is complicity. It is dangerous to deny the link between hateful rhetoric and the hateful violence now afflicting our country. It is the clear and compelling duty of all in public life to call forth the better angels of our nature that Lincoln summoned, to seek our commonalities rather than our divisions, and to speak out against those who do otherwise.

“We are not all members of the Jewish community, a community subjected to centuries of persecution. We are not all transgender. We are not all Muslim. We are not all African-American. We are not all Hispanic. We are not all survivors of sexual assault. But we are all linked in a human destiny whose survival depends on a rejection of the politics that feed on fear of ‘the other.’ The politics that revel in the loss and suffering of others must be rejected. The more we love, the less we will lose.

“In this darkness we must remember that America is resilient. In Washington state we can be confident we live in a place that will continue to welcome, value and stand up for the rights of people of all faiths, all orientations and all nationalities. The foothold of hate and fear of ‘the other’ will not take root here. We will use the full force of our voices, our votes and our state rights to defend the people and values that have made Washington, and the United States, a beacon for people around the world.”

Media Contacts

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office