Letter: Stand up against hate in suburbs


To the editor:

I am submitting a letter about a hate incident in an Oak Park church that was reported in the Chicago Tribune. In late August, an unknown person painted hateful graffiti in the downstairs area of a church. There was no preceding event, and the church removed the defacing words itself.

This is close to home. Charlottesville and other arenas of hate crimes are obviously not distant events. I am a member of DuPage United, with a sister affiliate in Cook County, United Power for Action and Justice, as well as Lake County United, and in Kane County, Fox River Valley Initiative. We are a large, peaceful group of multiple mainly religious and civic organizations: churches, synagogues, mosques. We help communities facilitate positive changes in their area. Among other things, I am a member of our Prepared and Rapid Response Team. We wish to stand by religious groups or minorities who are attacked by hate crimes in various ways. As a society, we need to be vocal about denouncing all actions of hate. In July of this year, an unknown person spray-painted over a sign on the lawn of friends of mine in Downers Grove. The sign reads, “ In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love, Kindness is Everything.” A very peaceful sign, I would say.

Do not imagine that what occurred under Nazi Germany in WWII could never happen here. By the way, I do not hate Germans. I spent 11 years in Germany, was married to a wonderful German woman (since passed away) and know very many Germans who are standing up against hate in 21st century Germany. Let us all not fear speaking loudly against the voices of hate and violence. Let us stand up for the human race.

David Rinaldi