Max Michael’s Remarks At #StandAsOne Against Hate and White Supremacy August 15, 2017 Linn Park, Birmingham

#StandAsOne Rally Against Hate & White Supremacy, August 15, 2017, Linn Park Birmimgham

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS WITH YOU THIS EVENING IN THE WAKE OF EVENTS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE THIS PAST WEEKEND.

WE ARE A NATION BUILT ON THE IDEALS EMBODIED IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT, IDEALS WE HOLD SACRED BECAUSE IT IS THE FREE AND OPEN EXCHANGE OFIDEAS AND OPINIONS THAT MAKES US A STRONG AND ROBUST NATION.

 WE ARE ALSO A NATION BUILT ON DIVERSITY, INDEED THE VERY FABRIC OF OUR SOCIETY DEPENDS UPON OUR DIVERSITY. WE CELEBRATE DIVERSITY IN OUR PLACES OF WORSHIP, WHERE WE WORK AND PLAY, AND WHERE WE TEACH AND LEARN. AND, TO CELEBRATE THAT DIVERSITY WE ALSO EMBRACE EQUITY, JUSTICE, AND TOLERANCE.

FOR A WHOLE HOST OF REASONS I SEE THE WORLD THROUGH THE LENS OF PUBLIC HEALTH -A PROFESSION THAT STRIVES TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF EVERYONE, NOT JUST A SELECT FEW.

FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EQUITY, JUSTICE, AND TOLERANCE ARE BEDROCK VALUES, VALUES THAT SIMPLY CANNOT AND \NILL NOT BE ALTERED OR CHANGED. WEKNOW ALL TOO WELL THE DEEP AND LASTING CONSEQUENCES OF RACISM AND INTOLERANCE ON THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF COMMUNITIES HERE AND ACROSS THE NATION. AND, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST REAFFIRM OUR COMMITMENT TO CIVIL DISCOURSE AND RESPECT FOR DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND VIEWPOINTS, WHILE WE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD DIVIDE US THROUGH BIGOTRY, HATRED, AND INTOLERANCE. TIME WILL LESSEN THE PAIN AND ANGUISH OF CHARLOTIESVILLE. HOWEVER, WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LESSEN OUR RESOLVE TO SUPPORT CIVIL DISCOURSE AND WE MUST CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE US GREAT. IT IS ONLY THROUGH CIVIL DISCOURSE THAT WE CAN HOPE TO FIND A PATH PAST THE IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE THAT LEADS TO MORE HATRED, DISTRUST, AND VIOLENCE. AND, THAT DISCOURSE MUST BEGIN HERE WITH US; IT MUST BEG IN AT THE GRASSROOTS IN THE ABSENCE OF NATIONAL LEADERSHIP. WE CAN NO LONGER WAIT ON OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT THE CONDITIONS FOR THE CONVERSATIONS TO BEGIN.

I HOPE AND PRAY TODAY WE START THE DIALOGUE TO SAVE THE VERY PRINCIPLES AND VALUES UPON WHICH THIS NATION WAS BUILT.

THANK YOU!