Most of the time I am really proud to live in Juneau, and I have strong, positive feelings about my community. But the recent defacing and attempted desecration of the building belonging to our friends and neighbors in the Jewish community is a revolting, reprehensible crime. I am ashamed that it happened in my town, in my state and in my country. To everyone in the Jewish community, I would like to say I am sorry and deeply troubled that this happened. I would like to add my voice to the chorus of voices pledging support to the Jewish community.
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Just as our city's law enforcement personnel are working to address this serious hate crime, we as citizens must work to alleviate the toxic combination of ignorance, fear and hatred that precipitates hate crimes.
We have to look inward and also outward. All of us can benefit from examining our own thoughts, our own choice of words and our actions for signs of racism and intolerance. We need to root it out of our own thinking for a start. And if we encounter ignorance, racism and bigotry, we have to summon the courage to confront it. To create an atmosphere of justice and equality, we as citizens must take steps to stand up for what is right, challenge intolerance and educate ourselves about one another's cultures. Please friends and neighbors, we all need to respect one another, and at this time we need to support our Jewish community in thought, word and deed.
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