WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:
“Twenty years ago, our nation suffered the worst terrorist attack in our history. Too many innocent lives were lost, and too many families no longer have loved ones. But amidst that great tragedy and suffering, we found inspiration in the heroic first responders who ran into harm’s way, and comfort in the ordinary people who lined up to donate blood. We saw Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and people of all faiths and backgrounds come together to denounce bigotry. In the aftermath of unspeakable calamity, our national character endured through compassion, charity, and community.
“But, like many dark times in our nation’s history, entire communities were wrongly viewed with suspicion because of their ethnicity, color, or religion. In the wake of 9/11, hate crimes targeting Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs, and South Asians spiked. Regrettably, the misguided targeting of communities has continued. When acts of hate are committed, fair-minded people speak out and condemn such xenophobic acts. We have seen this continue with people rising against white supremacists and acts of hate in recent years.
“Let us remember that hate has taken too much from us already. We are committed to continuing to fight for the civil and human rights of all so that the next generation will know an America filled with the courage and compassion that followed in the wake of such devastation. Buildings may fall. Lives may be lost. But our freedom and values will always carry on.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.