“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, …the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Moments of national crisis remind us all of the importance of competent, compassionate, and community-centered leadership. 19 years ago today, 2,977 beautiful souls were taken in an act of terror – my cousin was among those working at the Pentagon that day who miraculously escaped harm. This day marked a defining moment in our nation‘s history, revealing both our ability to transcend race/ethnicity to come together as well as our ability to succumb to our fears.
Then, as now, regressionist rhetoric of profiteering pundits pushes fear and stokes division - none more loud or dangerous than the current President. Contrary to the messages touted by the mainstream media in 2001 (and now), this week Politico reports that an internal analysis by the Department of Homeland Security concludes that white supremacist terror will remain the most "persistent and lethal threat" in the United States through 2021. These persistent and rising threats to Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Latinx, LGBTQIA and Black people make our #BlackLivesMatter agenda more universal, relevant and urgent than at any other time. Yet, rather than address this truly dangerous threat to our country, regressionists fan the flames of fear and hate.
Victor and I joined with thousands of others in San Francisco to protest the invasion of Afghanistan. We lifted our voices to decry what history now reveals were arguments based on lies and deception. Over 6,000 American soldiers have died due to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many Muslims and Sikhs around the world have suffered as they bear the blame for 19 murderers.
We have experienced decades of Islamophobia as a direct result of the federal response to these attacks, most recently with President Trump’s xenophobic attempt to enact a Muslim ban. We have felt this hate directly in Oakland, as Mosques and Islamic Community Centers have been targeted, threats many of my constituents face everyday.
In response to concerns raised by the Muslim community, I championed the establishment of the Privacy Advisory Commission, working closely with the Yemeni Community to ensure that our Muslim communities are protected and lifted up. Our community knows that there’s only us- not us and them.
It is important to imagine what could have been; what could a response to this act have looked like if love and peace were centered? How many lives would have been saved?
We have confronted this question time and again over these past 4 years. And there is no time like today to remember the importance of voting, at every level of government.
Change can be scary, even when we know it’s necessary. We need leaders who won’t exploit our fears or ignore our pain. I’ve decided to seek re-election because I refuse to back down from this call. I will not let Oakland suffer another setback as leaders move on to so-called greener pastures or seek to move narrow agendas. I live here, and here matters to me.
I want to share your 911 story. To share your memory, honor the fallen, and send love to the survivors tag @LynetteGM in your 911 memory on Instagram or Twitter or post to my Facebook page www.facebook.com/lynettemcelhaney
Join my LoveLife Brigade of Campaign Volunteers. We’re on a mission to make Oakland the most just, diverse, inclusive and safe city in the Bay. You can help. Donate, Volunteer, and learn more at ww.lynetteforoakland.com.
In Service & Hope,