It shouldn't even be a question. The PR business that presents itself as the most powerful means of communication must come together to play a role in calming a situation that has gotten out of hand and threatens to spread its evil.
The October 27 slaughter of 11 Jewish congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh may well be a “stimulant” to trigger other anti-Semites to take such action unless something is done.
To many, the murders were simply a follow-up to the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017….and the ensuing “reassurance” many of the riotous ilk received from the president who found there had to be some “nice people” among the swastika waving attackers who claimed they “would not be replaced by Jews.”
Eighty years ago, a rhetorical campaign in Germany resulted in what history has recorded as “Krystalnacht” or the “the night of the burning books.” It did not take long before rioters were encouraged and not only destroyed Jewish bookstores but accepted the idea it was virtually necessary to “cleanse” the nation of Jews in order to remake Germany great again.
Jews and people of other faiths have been pleading not just for calm but urging messages of love and kindness to replace the anti-Semitism that has picked up substantially across the US. Others, as with survivors of the Holocaust, assert the more rational response should be now as then: “Never Again!”
Whatever may be the appropriate message, those who have the capacity to put forth effective messages in the most creative ways must take up the cudgels of society before more such tragedies take place, and the streets are filled with repeats of the Charlottesville 2017 weekend.
Will the PR business rise to the occasion? Or will PR leaders remain silent, knowing that involvement entails risk?
Joe Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org