Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, the history of the Civil Rights movement was real and present. Yet even there, it felt like history. Sure, we knew there were "rednecks" who still spoke vile words, yet the only time anyone ever yelled "Kike" at me was walking to shul with a large group of Christians in Valdosta, GA at the Governor's Honors Program. They were more offended than I was-so surprised at never having experienced it before.
The last couple years history has come back to life for those of us privileged enough not to experience racism on a regular basis. We know that our African-American brothers and sisters have always experienced it, yet for Jews and their paler brothers and sisters racism and anti-Semitism seemed dormant. (They weren't. They were around, we just weren't looking at the signs.)
These sides are not parallel. There are no "all sides" when we talk about hatred. We are completely missing the boat if we think there is any parallel between those calling against violence and those promoting it.
I'm talking with my clergy colleagues about how we can react positively in Newburgh and show that hate is not welcome here. Hope you will be able to help!