By Maurice I. Middleberg | Free the Slaves Executive Director
Every day, the staff of Free the Slaves works in solidarity with local partners and communities to help bring about a more just world. We do so in Haiti, in several countries in Africa, and in Asia. Every day, our staff manifests tremendous dedication and skill. Every day, our partners do the hard work of serving, with great integrity, communities in need. Every day, the people in those communities exhibit courage, decency and care. These are all acts of love. They merit honor and respect.
Yesterday, the president of the United States made vile comments that disparage the countries and communities in which Free the Slaves is privileged to work. We do not believe his denials. These comments are wholly consistent with a pattern of repugnant language and behavior. We reject and condemn the specific statement that was made and the recurring pandering to bigotry.
For more than 35 years, I have had the privilege of being welcomed with grace, generosity and courtesy in villages, hamlets and neighborhoods in the very places that were disparaged. I have been witness to the bravery and tenacity of people as they sought to build better lives for their families and communities. Those faces and voices rose in my mind when I saw the president’s words.
Free the Slaves celebrates the privilege of working in countries rich in history and culture. We find joy in both diversity and our common humanity. We are committed to growing the bonds of affection and purpose that unite us. We will continue to pursue our mission in that spirit.