Stop the Hate rally draws a crowd in Lewisburg
LEWISBURG — More than 150 people turned out for the Stop the Hate Unity Rally in Lewisburg Tuesday. Hosted by CARE, the CommUnity Zone and Bucknell University, the annual event promotes acceptance for all.
One of the speakers in Hufnagle Park was Tammy Simpson. Her son, Brandon Bitner of Mount Pleasant Mills, committed suicide after being bullied. “It starts at home with the parents. We need to teach our children acceptance. But, if you are a student out there, and your parents didn’t teach you that, let it start with you. You be the one to accept others. It is good to be different. Words to hurt and words can kill. I don’t have my son anymore. We need to stop the hate and accept others.”
Also among the speakers was Bucknell University president John Bravman. “I believe that God doesn’t put on our shoulders the needs to save the world. He gives us the opportunity to do something in our day, our hour, our moment, our place, that through the actions of countless numbers of people, most of whom we will never know, collectively we can make a difference.”
Stop the Hate is part of a national effort that was sparked after the hate crimes and killings of James Byrd and Matthew Shepard in 1998.