No Place for Hate: A Message from our CEO
This country and the economic and political power structure we know today emerged from a system of racism and slavery. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we have individuals who feel threatened by the emergence of a multicultural and equitable society – this challenges their understanding of identity and place. What we saw last weekend in Charlottesville was a blatant rebellion to the growth of a civil society based on equity not race or religious identity.
We build a better history by acknowledging the past and presence of racism and other deep divisions in our country. This country in large measure was built on slavery and emblems of slavery must be confronted; not to dismantle or revise the past, but to build upon the new common ground of a strong diverse society. This is how we will take back America, by taking it forward.
This so-called Patriot Prayer Rally on Crissy Field in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the Presidio of San Francisco on August 26 is a dangerous affront to our region and country and a threat to public safety.
Crissy Field is in a National Park that lies in the midst of sacred burial grounds of our First People. It is next to Fort Mason where thousands of ships docked during wartime to win liberty and religious freedom for ourselves and the world. It is across the Bay from Angel Island where thousands upon thousands of immigrants entered our country to find a better life and to make valuable contributions to our society. It borders the Golden Gate Bridge which is a symbol of the immense potential of our diverse region. It is just down the hill from the San Francisco National Cemetery, the final resting place for thousands of veterans who died for the freedom of our country. To host the Patriot Rally on this hollowed institution is anathema to what San Francisco and the YMCA stand for.
Every day, the Presidio YMCA is the home of thousands of children, youth and adults in programs throughout the National Park and beyond. We host a wide diversity of Bay Area residents, many of whom come from underserved neighborhoods and find sanctuary in the natural environment.
This proposed rally will pose a great threat to many important programs hosted by the YMCA and other community organizations; as such, we will carefully monitor the situation to ensure the safety of our participants.
Our call is to embrace the variations by which people are born into this world, and all of the ways in which we can create a positive, nurturing space for self-expression and human potential.
Work for the common good and nourish the common ground. This is no place for hate.