August 17th, 2017 – Talking about the events in Charlottesville, the President’s comments, and the commentary feels imperative right now. Much has been said and written that doesn’t need repeating. My focus is on how this relates to the Vermont Foodbank’s work and the neighbors we serve.
The actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups put all the focus on themselves and the divides they seek to impose, while dehumanizing fellow citizens they deem unworthy. Following this lead sends us straight to the hate groups’ end game: a society divided.
We denounce and reject the hate groups’ beliefs and actions and understand that we must replace their rhetoric with a positive vision. Your Foodbank’s vision is a community united that allows everyone to reach their full human potential. We achieve this by bringing people and communities together around food, reducing the stigma of not having enough, and celebrating the strength of communities that thrive together. We can only truly end hunger by building strong foundations in our communities, foundations that allow families to weather life’s storms and come out moving forward. When we are divided by race, religion, or ethnic group, it is impossible to build communities that allow everyone the opportunity to thrive.
I sincerely hope that we, as citizens, can turn this attempt to divide us with hatred into a new commitment to build lasting community, one in which we are all willing to contribute to the greater goal of improving the well-being of all. The biggest mistake we can make is to let this crisis go to waste.