, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. “I’m not racist but...”

We’ve all heard the phrase, we all know what it REALLY means, and in light of recent events at 2 #yeg mosques I’ve been asked to make a statement as an elected official.

It may different than what you expect.

2. First, do I condemn this hate and all Islamaphobia? Yes. Of course. As should we all. But that doesn’t solve the problem, does it?

All it does is shout at the symptoms. That’s not how we heal wounds. Just shouting at hate won’t heal racism.
3. Let’s get to the root of the problem and confront a truth. We have seen politicians & pundits light the flames of blame & “otherness” & paint a target on a group of people for their own gain. Is it truly a surprise, then, when someone in their audience sadly takes action?
4. And let’s be brutally honest, I don’t even have to name names. We all know who has been whistling that tune. Time to change the music.

That doesn’t mean just looking virtuous in times of trouble, or denying one’s own past at last. It means getting to work.
5. What’s the work? It’s not a buzzword. It’s not a safe phrase we retweet. It’s simpler but it takes effort.

We have to make connections.

If we take the time to actually get to know someone, we end up finding out they’re human beings worthy of respect. Just like you and me.
6. Sure, there are some real jerks out there. But jerks can be found in any group, anywhere. Trick is, you can’t judge an entire race of folks on a few bad apples.

Just like we don’t judge the good people of our great city on the misguided actions of a few angry lone wolves.
7. Markaz Ul Islam and @Alrashid_YEG were both targeted. The response? Al Rashid is opening their doors on the coldest of nights to anyone who needs safety, hope, inclusion and love.

That’s the spirit of community right there.

So here’s my call:
8. Shine light on ignorance.

Talk. Share. Educate.

It’s not an overnight fix, nothing worthwhile building ever is.

But the only chance we have to make things better is to connect.

The opposite of hate isn’t love.

It’s light.
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