NAACP Vermont chapters deplore ‘senseless act of violence’ against Palestinian American students

BRATTLEBORO — In light of the recent tragic incident in Burlington, Vermont, the Vermont branches of the NAACP express our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.

The violent shooting of three Palestinian American students is deeply distressing, and we stand in solidarity with the affected community during this difficult time.

Our hearts go out to Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, Tahseen Ahmed, and their loved ones. This senseless act of violence has not only caused them physical harm, but it has also shaken our collective sense of safety and well-being.

We echo the calls from the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee for a thorough investigation into this incident as a hate crime. It is crucial that law enforcement, including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, diligently pursue justice and bring the perpetrator to account.

We emphasize the need for empathy, understanding, and unity in the face of discrimination and violence.

The Vermont NAACP urges the community to come together, condemn anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian discrimination, and support one another during these challenging times.

As the violence continues to unfold in Israel and in Gaza, we understand the implications it has across the world, including in the United States. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, there has been a 216% increase in the past month and a half in requests for help and reports regarding biased anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incidents.

We stand against all forms of hate, including racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism.

We also want to underscore the importance of community members remaining vigilant against any manifestation of hate and discrimination. If anyone encounters acts of hatred or violence, especially because of their identity, we urge them to report these incidents to the authorities immediately.

Through collective action and reporting, we can address and prevent such acts, fostering an environment where everyone feels safe and protected. Your voice matters, and together we can build a community that stands against hate in all its forms.

In summation, here is our call to action:

• We call on law enforcement to perform a thorough investigation and ensure justice.

• We call on our fellow Vermonters to support our Palestinian families, friends, and neighbors.

• We call for an end to violence and suffering at the hands of hate.

NAACP Windham County Branch

Lise Sparrow, chair of religious affairs

This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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