By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — City officials joined together March 31 to publicly endorse Take on Hate, a national campaign to address bias and discrimination toward any group of people and particularly toward Arab Americans.
At the City Council meeting Mayor John O’Reilly Jr., city council members and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) took the pledge to support the campaign.
The Take on Hate campaign began last year led by the National Network for Arab American Communities, a project of Dearborn-based nonprofit ACCESS.
Council President Susan Dabaja introduced a resolution to officially join the campaign to Take on Hate which passed unanimously.
“Dearborn is known for its diversity and its dynamic history as a home to many immigrant communities,” Dabaja said. “The city of Dearborn supports and protects its citizens regardless of their religion and ethnicity and as public service we have a responsibility to speak out against discrimination, hatred and violence.”
The support of elected officials is essential to the campaign, according to an ACCESS press release. The bias inherently built into many government policies jeopardizes the rights of all Americans, including Muslims and Arabs, the release said.
Take on Hate aims to change the policies that negatively impact communities while supporting those policies that proactively aid communities.
Dingell echoed the same message in her speech regarding the campaign.
“I thank you for your leadership of taking on hate,” she said. “This community needs to take on the issues of the misconceptions about what the Islam religion is and what it stands for.”
Take on Hate campaign manager Rashida Tlaib also took the time to give her thoughts.
“A lot of what is being said not only in the media, in schools and even among leadership in schools is something that is creating a struggle,” she said. “It jeopardizes our core American values that no matter their faith, ethnicity, identity you should not be solely targeted because of that.”
For more information about the Take on Hate campaign go to www.takeonhate.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)