The National Fair Housing Alliance Condemns Hate Crimes and Calls on President Trump to Denounce Hate

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2018
Contact: Jessica Aiwuyor | 202-898-1661 | jaiwuyor@nationalfairhousing.org

The National Fair Housing Alliance Condemns Hate Crimes and Calls on President Trump to Denounce Hate

The National Fair Housing Alliance shares our deepest condolences with the people and families affected by the recent shootings in Louisville, Kentucky and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also at a time of national tragedy, the Fair Housing Act was passed seven days after the death of Martin Luther King Jr.  The Act was not just a law. It was a promise to ensure that America’s doors are truly open, without intimidation or threat, to everyone regardless of their race, religion, color, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability.

Since the end of 2016, America has seen a rise in hate crimes across the nation.  The rise has been coupled with the recent increase in publicized hateful rhetoric.  We have also seen an uptick in violence, targeting people because of their race, national origin, or religion.

In recent years, NFHA has worked to fight against housing discrimination on the ground specifically in Louisville, Kentucky, among the communities where we have focused.  We regularly collaborate with local stakeholders like the Lexington Fair Housing Council in Kentucky and the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, to ensure that the civil rights of all neighborhoods and people there are protected.  It is truly heartbreaking to see the level of hatred that has terrorized Pittsburgh, Louisville, and communities across the country. People should be able to worship, shop, and live without fear that they will be murdered simply because of their religion or the color of their skin.

After members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four little girls, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us in his Eulogy for Martyred Children that, “We must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

The year of 1963 – the year of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing – was a time for America to reflect. Now, in 2018, the time has come again for America to seriously think about the type of nation we want to be.  This reflection should start with our nation’s leader. As the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump must loudly and publicly denounce White Nationalism and domestic terror.

Regardless of political affiliation, NFHA calls on all lawmakers and public servants to be the leaders that America needs them to be.  America cannot wait for justice and we cannot allow hate to become normalized. We strongly condemn violence in all forms and we condemn hateful rhetoric that breeds and supports this violence.

Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan quoted former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in a 2009 federal court decision in Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center vs. St. Bernard Parish, finding that the parish exaggerated fears and engaged in discrimination against people of color, and those words bear restating now – “Leadership is not finding an angry crowd and getting in front of it to goad it on. A leader takes people where they want to go, and a great leader takes people where they do not necessarily want to go but ought to be.”

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Founded in 1988, NFHA is a consortium of more than 220 private, nonprofit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.

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