Words cannot express the pain I feel today around the senseless murders of 11 Jewish brothers and sisters whose only error was to show up for prayer service this weekend.

And while there is nothing I can do to reverse this tragedy, I can say to all who listen that I stand with my Jewish brothers and sisters, in this time of pain and suffering. The Jewish community is also my community. We are all family.

This is my community, and my family, because we are all community, and we are all family. And when one hurts in that community, and family, then we all hurt.

When one is in pain, we all should feel and have compassion for this same pain. And when this community and family member is in need — we all should ‘show up’ in support. Possibly one of the most tragic of the losses, was Rose Mallinger, 97, who survived the Holocaust, only to be killed while in prayer.

What each of us can do now, today, is to refute, and turn back, and to call out hate and hate speech, wherever we might find it. If someone around us is spewing hate and intolerance, we should call them on it. Let them know, that they cannot be your friend, if they have committed to becoming someone else’s enemy simply because of the color of their skin, their race, religion or origin in life.

This week, let us all honor the victims and hoped for survivors of this senseless tragedy — by committing to showing and expressing love wherever we go, and to whomever we meet. This is at least my plan. If you consider yourself my friend, I would expect you to love those around you just the same.

John Hope Bryant

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