August 22, 2017

Dear SAHM members:

Last week, I wrote to you to share my sentiments of horror and outrage over the atrocities that occurred in Charlottesville, VA. Today, I find myself once again compelled to reach out after the tragic events that occurred in Barcelona last Thursday, where 13 innocent souls, ranging from age 3-80 were killed and another 120 people injured in a terrorist attack. Our hearts are filled with love and sorrow for those impacted by this senseless act. Unfortunately, this was just one of several similar terrorist attacks that cities around the world have endured over the past year. While we may not be able to respond to every instance of violence and terror, we stand firm in our condemnation of such attacks, wherever they take place. These kinds of horrors are occurring all too frequently --- nearly every day in Syria and Iraq.
 
I am grateful for your support of one another and our young people. I am also grateful and proud of your expressions and sharing through our listserve. As Dzung Vo shared with us in an article written by Dr. Heard-Garris, “there are health effects of vicarious racism and trauma on youth and families”. Dr. Vo also relates that “not surprisingly, research suggests that terrorism is terrorizing”. I must also highlight the historical reminders provided by Curren Warf, “Though the Nazi’s of the 1930’s and 40’s may seem like distant history to many, especially youth, we should remember that before their rise, Germany had been a democratic state with the largest progressive political movement in Europe; and that movement was crushed by extremists with guns in a matter of months. The arming of vigilantes with assault weapons in a crowd of racists with torches is terrifyingly resonant with the rise of fascism in Germany and other European countries.” As your SAHM president, it is my plea that we do not let history repeat itself.
 
SAHM’s mission and members span the globe. And we must continue to stand together and push forward to fight hate, violence and discrimination of any kind, against any group for any reason anywhere in the world. We must continue to remind ourselves to stay vigilant, that hate is not innate, but learned, and our resistance is needed not only to fight those who wish to destroy us now, but to serve as an example for our young people who will have to continue this fight.
 
Thank you again for your support of one another and our young people. I am encouraged and inspired because of people like you.

With warm regards,

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, FAAP, FSAHM
President
 

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