The Rhode Island State Commission on Prejudice and Bias is deeply saddened by the recent statement on Twitter by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin. In a time in which there is a rise of hate, prejudice and bias in our country it was truly discouraging to see a member of clergy in the State of Rhode Island provide such a misguided and misinformed directive to his congregate. The commission has witnessed firsthand the negative impacts that such negative and divisive expressions bring and know there is no place or tolerance in Rhode Island for such hate.
The commission’s mission is, “To study and report on all forms of prejudice and hatred in Rhode Island and to revise and codify, if possible, all laws relating to all forms of prejudice, bias and hatred.” Rhode Island is proud to have a community that is inclusive of all. The LGBTQI community represents a large part of the overall Rhode Island community. A community that has been victimized by hatred and bullying over the years. The PRIDE events being held this month nationally have a purpose of bringing a better awareness of a community needlessly being discriminated against.
We ask that Rhode Island residents step up once again and remind individuals and Bishop Tobin that we do not as a community tolerate these prejudice and bias statements and directives against the members of any our diverse communities. We encourage our communities to respect each other’s cultures, beliefs and preferences and work to continue to remove the environment of hate, prejudice and bias that continues to evolve at all levels. We continue to have the opportunity in Rhode Island to set the example and the bar for our nation, to meet our neighbors and continue to learn how to partner with each other.
The Rhode Island Commission on Prejudice and Bias provides training to law enforcement agencies, facilitates educational trainings and provides a conduit for reporting challenges individuals or organizations may have experienced in our Rhode Island communities. The commission comprises members of law enforcement, clergy and the community. Rhode Island prides itself on its diverse cultures and inclusive communities, which have made Rhode Island a model state.
B. Joe Reddish III, Wyoming
Jodi L. Glass, Providence
Reddish is the chairman and Glass is the coordinator of the Rhode Island State Commission on Prejudice and Bias.