Several Michigan Democrats and more than 40 organizations rallied in Dearborn Thursday night to combat the rise of “hateful rhetoric.”
The small event of about 100 people gathered at the University of Michigan-Dearborn titled, “Take on Hate,” was spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), and included her colleagues U.S. Reps. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit).
More than a dozen leaders spoke, with many sharing stories of feeling marginalized, while others encouraged the crowd to stand against divisiveness.
“Whatever is going on right now, however mad it makes you, all that I ask is that you can’t let the hate and the chaos frustrate you. Let it make you stronger and stronger and stronger to spread love in this world,” Levin said to an energetic crowd on the patio of the University Center.
“I don’t want to talk about hate, I want to talk about love,” Congressman Levin said. pic.twitter.com/7KWXXkRW5I
— Allison R. Donahue (@donahual) August 30, 2019
President Donald Trump also was a hot topic, as speakers and crowd members decried his tweets and statements targeting many marginalized communities in America.
“When we see the divisive rhetoric from Washington, it arms, emboldens, encourages, and pulls out that hatred from other people,” said Democratic Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
Among the many who have been singled out by the president, Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress — was recently in the spotlight after Trump tweeted she is “violent” and “hates Jews.”
This all came after Israel lifted a ban earlier this month to allow Tlaib to visit her grandmother, to which she declined and announced she would no longer be going.
Tlaib said in a statement, “The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter.”
At the rally, Tlaib spoke of hopefulness and unity.
“I promise you, we will prevail. There are more of us than them. As they try to dehumanize us, speak up. As they try to attack your neighbor, speak up,” she said.
Dingell denounced the hostility between communities, religions and political groups.
“We have to stop letting people pit us against each other. It’s got to stop,” she said.
Groups that participated in the rally included Affirmations, ACLU Michigan, Anti-Defamation League, Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, Islamic House of Wisdom,; ACCESS, Emgage, Arab American and Chaldean Council and the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor.