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We could not remain silent.
We’re small-business owners from Minnesota—and as a tide of suffocating xenophobia and hate-filled rhetoric rose all around us, we wanted to make it clear to Muslims, immigrants, and refugees in our local community that they are most welcome in our restaurant and that we stand by their side.
So we put up a sign in our front window that reads, “Hate has no business here.” And it’s starting to spread nationwide.
If you’re a local business owner, will you join us and put up a sign in your window? If you’re not a business owner, will you print out the sign and ask local businesses or gathering places in your community to post it?
Since the San Bernardino mass shooting, there has been a terrifying spike in brutal hate crimes largely targeting Muslims—death threats, arson, individual attacks that involve throwing hot coffee and stones, disgusting name calling, and more. At a basic human level, we’ve sensed the fear in our friends and neighbors. And we knew we had to respond.
We’ve strung together five powerful words as a visible and collective rejection of right-wing hate-baiting and fearmongering. Five words that tap into what’s best about Americans.
Do you know folks in your local community who would join us in challenging the status quo and help us create a more welcoming community by putting up a sign that reads, “Hate has no business here”?
We think of our restaurant, Common Roots Cafe, as a community gathering place where everyone is welcome. And we have a hunch that the majority of local businesses—owners and staff—share our values.
That’s why we were thrilled when other businesses started putting up signs with the same message and when Main Street Alliance, an organization that amplifies the voices of small business owners, turned our sign into a national campaign. And now we’re doubly thrilled that MoveOn is partnering with Main Street Alliance to make sure this xenophobia-shattering message reaches every corner of our country at a time when it’s needed most.
If we’re successful in reaching businesses, communities of faith, nonprofit organizations, libraries, and town halls in every state, MoveOn and Main Street Alliance will publish an online directory of places that welcome everyone.
Will you help make sure businesses and other community centers in your local area proudly welcome everyone—and get listed in the directory?
When pundits and politicians target people in our communities for media ratings or political gain, when they recklessly fan the flames of hatred and fear as GOP candidates did last night, they must be met head-on with clear and principled rebuttals—with uplifting and courageous messages of welcome.
We know the American people are better than the ugly and racist rhetoric washing over us each day. And store by store, library by library, school by school, all of us—together—will prove it. Sign up to spread the message that hate has no business in your community.
When you’re successful in getting a sign put up in your town, take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re on Twitter, you can tweet it using the hashtags #WeAreBetterThanThis and #HateHasNoBizHere
—Elana and Danny Schwartzman