Clergy from across San Diego County stood together Friday and called for an end to racism and violence like that seen in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members of the San Diego Organizing Project, a nonpartisan federation of 31 faith congregations, gathered at St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral on Sixth Avenue.
Rabbi Devorah Marcus with the Temple Emanu-El of San Diego shared what the images from the rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville meant to him.
“As a Jew, I cannot begin to express what it was like to see Nazi flags being waved proudly without embarrassment or shame on our American streets, that confederate flag is equally vile," Marcus said.”
Faith leaders countywide publicly rejected every form of intolerance.
“There is no reason for us to be bigots, there is no reason for any members of our faith communities to stand with prejudice in their hearts,” said Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of SD.
Some spoke directly to President Donald Trump who has been criticized concerning his varied responses to the violence.
"We as a united people must hold President Trump to a higher standard. We must demand that he pay attention, not just to Confederate statues and racist groups, but to overall social outcomes,” said Bishop Cornelius Bowser of the Charity Apostolic Church.
Along with denouncing the alt-right and white supremacists who rallied against the removal of a Confederate statue last weekend, the group called out to San Diego area law enforcement authorities to put together a public safety plan.
They want officers to be prepared to protect those who demonstrate against fascism in future events here in San Diego.
“We call upon our elected officials to uphold the principles and values of peace love and justice, so all of us, all our communities can prosper can enjoy this gift given to us by our lord and our creator,” said Iman Taha Hassane with the Islamic Center of San Diego.
Several also called on people who are not discriminated against to stand up for their neighbor and fight injustice.
“We are here today to send a clear message that the faith community of San Diego will not be silent in the face of racism, bigotry, and hatred," said Rev. Kathleen Owens, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. “We especially call on white people to stand in solidarity for equality and to dismantle the system of white supremacy and oppression.”
“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. I am concerned that for too long, too many of us, especially white people, especially white clergy, thinking that we are good people, have done too little. We have fallen asleep, dreaming our world is better than it is. We must wake up,” said Rev. Mary Sue Brookshire with the Pioneer Ocean View United Church of Christ.
Bishop George McKinney with the 2nd Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ called on San Diegans to fight to the finish.
“We must all be involved in fighting for justice and righteousness and peace and freedom," he said.