Nuñez and Garza: Ending an epidemic of hate
The corner of North Santa Cruz Avenue and Main Street in Los Gatos. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity.” These words by one of our nation’s most iconic and impactful crusaders against hate and injustice, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have never been truer than in this moment of gross incivility taking place around the nation, and sadly finding a home in some of our local communities and halls of government.

The hate-filled, personally-attacking and harassing conduct engaged in by community members during recent Town Council meetings in Los Gatos against Mayor Marico Soyac and her family, vitriol which brazenly extended to instances of harassment in front of her private residence as well as at the home of Vice Mayor Rob Rennie, are an abhorrent violation of civility and must be countered.

In keeping with our collective mission to bring about positive change through non-hateful, peaceful means, the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP and the La Raza Roundtable are joining the Los Gatos United Against Hate peace walk on Nov. 14. We look forward to partnering with Los Gatos school districts, the chamber of commerce, faith-based organizations and many other groups who understand that true community is rooted in constructive civil dialogue that is honest and frank, but that is not personally degrading, threatening or harassing, nor inspires violence.

Much has been reported about the significant and very recent rise in hate crimes around the nation. Some in Santa Clara County may be tempted to believe that our population’s rich diversity shields this region from hateful aggression and violence toward others because of their race, their ethnicity or nationality, their orientation, their views. Some of us, however, are not shocked because we know firsthand that bigotry and hate-infused gross ignorance have no boundaries. We also know that the only true weapon against all of this is collective, peaceful confrontation.

We invite members of the Los Gatos community and the region to take a stand with us on Nov. 14 as we rise up together toward restoring civility and pushing hateful conduct back  into the shadows.

For further information about the United Against Hate walk, please visit https://www.losgatosca.gov/2698/United-Against-Hate

Bob Nuñez is president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP. Victor Garza is chair of the La Raza Roundtable.

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