“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate.
The horrific death of George Floyd has heartbroken and outraged us all. One can only recoil at the brutality of it. We decry the racism within individuals, institutions, and social structures that perpetuates this, and we will raise our voices and act to demand that the world we live in change. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of Mr. Floyd, and to all who have experienced racial violence and injustice. We think especially at this time of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and all who live in fear that they or their loved ones may be next. We stand with them at this time.
Members of the African American community, and people of color more broadly, experience racism on a daily basis because racism permeates all aspects of our society – its institutions and structures. Racism has been a part of our history since the inception of our nation and it runs through each and every one of us who is afforded privilege as a result. As faith leaders, we are committed to do the searing work of acknowledging and dismantling our own internalized racism; we are committed to do what is necessary to dismantle the systems of inequality and oppression across our nation. We are committed to leading our communities through this work as well.
The faith leaders of the Town of Huntington stand in solidarity with Black and Brown communities across our nation. The words and teachings of our religious traditions call upon us to join together in strength and in spirit.
Rabbi Jeffrey Clopper, Temple Beth El, Huntington
Rev. JoAnn Barrett, Gathering of Light Interspiritual Fellowship, Huntington Station
Rev. Mark Bigelow, The Congregational Church of Huntington, Centerport
Rev. Larry D. Jennings Sr., Bethel AME, Huntington
Imam Ibrahim Ahmad, Masjid Noor, Huntington
Rabbi Ari Saks, Huntington Jewish Center, Huntington
The Very Rev. Gideon L. K. Pollach, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Cold Spring Harbor
Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, Kehillath Shalom Synagogue, Cold Spring Harbor
Rabbi Beth Klafter, Temple Beth David, Commack
Cantor Alison Levine, Temple Beth El, Huntington
Cantor Israel M. Gordan, Huntington Jewish Center, Huntington
Rev. Steve Young Dong Kim, The United Methodist Church of Huntington- Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington
Rev. Matthew Means, Old First Presbyterian Church, Huntington
Rev. Joseph Mirro, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, East Northport
Rev. Roslyn Lee, Commack United Methodist Church, Commack
Rev. J. Daniel Rivera, Huntington Assembly of God, Huntington
Rev. Roy Grubbs, Centerport United Methodist Church, Centerport
Rev. Melanie Ollett, West Hills United Methodist Church, Huntington Station
Dr. Faroque A Khan, Interfaith Institute of the Islamic Center of Long Island
Rev. Joel Brandt, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church ELCA, Huntington Station
Rev. Louis Nicholas, St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church, Greenlawn
Cantor Audrey Halpern, Temple Beth David, Commack
Ann & Gordon Harper, Huntington Baha’I Community, Huntington
Rev. Bob Smith, St. Hugh of Lincoln Parish, Huntington Station
Rev. Rebecca Pollicino, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church ELCA, Huntington Station
Rev. Jude Geiger, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington, Huntington
Shahid Ali Khan, Chairman, Muslim American Advisory Board of Suffolk County
Rabbi Elazar Grossman, Young Israel, Huntington
Rev. Duncan A. Burns, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Huntington