Mayor Virg Bernero today issued the following statement concerning a demonstration that is scheduled to be held in the city this weekend by an anti-Muslim extremist hate group:
“I am deeply disturbed by reports that an anti-Muslim organization will be holding a demonstration in Lansing and other cities across the country this weekend. The event is being coordinated by ACT for America, which has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist hate group.
On behalf of the City of Lansing, let it be known that we are extremely proud of our community’s diversity. We do not tolerate discrimination or hatred of any kind and we stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters during this holy month of Ramadan - and always.
Although the First Amendment protects the right of hateful people to express their views in public, as this abhorrent event approaches I want to encourage all people of good faith to ignore the hatemongers and focus instead on how we can continue to build bridges in our community.I also invite area citizens to reject the hateful message of this despicable organization by joining me and East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing for our 11th Annual Ramadan Unity Dinner, where we will break bread together and join with people of all faiths to demonstrate our unwavering unity in the face of a rising tide of hatred and intolerance. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank to help feed the hungry in our community."