Tides CEO Statement on 580 Incident

Statement from Tides CEO Drummond Pike

We are greatly dismayed to learn from law enforcement officials that the man arrested over the weekend following a shootout with the CHP had targeted the Tides Foundation for violence. To the best of our knowledge, this person has never had contact with any Tides organization or program. As there is an ongoing investigation into this incident, we will not speculate as to what his motivations may have been.

We are relieved that no one other than the assailant was hurt seriously in the incident, and we are relieved that he was prevented from carrying out his misguided plans, whatever they may have been.

On occasion, the shadow of violence falls on American civic life and it should never be accepted or tolerated. Often, it is encouraged by partisan voices who label activities of which they disapprove by suggesting they are "anti-American" or some other epithet.

This incident serves to remind us that it should be the obligation of every American, especially those whose voices are amplified by the media, to foster civil discourse and dialogue among those who may disagree about public matters. One does not win an argument by inciting unbalanced people to violence. As Americans, we know we are best at solving problems when we reach broadly across boundaries for the best of ideas. Intolerance that closes our eyes defeats our aspirations.

The Tides organizations support innovative, creative nonprofit work to address social problems. We work for sustainability, better education, solutions to the AIDS epidemic, comprehensive immigration reform, and human rights. We strive to encourage every American to be as involved in public life as they can be, and to resolve differences through the honest exchange of ideas.

10 Responses to “Tides CEO Statement on 580 Incident”

  1. Dom Brassey says:

    dp, your response in this on-camera interview (from SFGate.com) is making the FB rounds: http://tinyurl.com/2bos2fx Well done; thank you.

  2. Elizabeth Sholes says:

    Mr. Pike - We are sorry this has happened to you, but welcome to our world. During the past quarter century, when we thought we had gotten "past" hate as an artifact of racial segregation, I discovered differently. I've had five friends and acquaintances murdered by right wing extremists and have been the sole support of two people living under cover for their work fighting such hate and violence. My organization, California Council of Churches, has stood, sometimes alone against bigotry and violence, and our "thanks" is an unrelenting assault upon us and many of our member congregations that is getting more intense, not better, thanks to the voices of hate. Our support for racial and religious equity including standing for and with Muslims in the wake of 9/11 was one thing; openly supporting LGBTQ equality pushed others into retribution. Finally, challenging the hegemony of the extremist Christian Right Wing has brought us vandalism, threats, and even harassment and intimidation at our homes.

    I believe you are correct in saying that we need to challenge hate, but those of us who have done this from moral principle know that there are costs, and those costs are scary to most people. We also know that we cannot have dialogue with those who've already picked up guns whether it's to kill abortion providers, gays and lesbians, or "liberals" wherever they may be. The issue is preventing anyone from getting to that place in the beginning.

    And let's have some honesty about the prejudice from the left, from those who should be our allies. The sneering disregard for blue collar people, the less educated, those in the faith community no matter who they are - the snotty disregard for people who are not hip enough to be yuppies with no belief in anything - has to stop as well.

    We have worked long and hard to move the wobbly middle - good people with deep fears but not hate - and have done so with marked success. You are quite right that it can make a huge difference in outcomes. But we have been cast aside by other progressives, cut out of the discussion at state and national levels, and disregarded by funders who don't see value in our capacity to bring hope out of this disaster.

    We challenge finding unity, we challenge finding inclusiveness, we challenge uplifting regard and respect from the right, and it's pitiful that we have to do the same with people who should be on our side working with us, not abandoning us to this very important effort.

    I detest the right-wing extremists and the harm they've done to society and to me personally. But I find almost no support or assistance from my supposed allies.

    America is a low sacrifice society too quick to dismiss others. On the right it is GLBT and minority people, and on the left it is working class and people of faith who get tossed in the trash. I can actually understand why Williams grew so vicerally passionate about the society around him - it threw him away a long time ago. He was ripe for the picking by the RW.

    It is time to stop judging others and dismissing them as beneath our notice or concern. Dialogue cannot occur unless and until the willingness to respect others, however different, is the first step toward that discussion. Without that, nothing - absolutely nothing - will change.

    • Sam Gray says:

      Yes Mam. And please believe me, I am old enough for "Mam" to be a term of ultimate respect.

    • Bonnie Maddox says:

      Thank you so much. You address the spectrum of the issue of hate, racism, and intolerance. I too have wonderful Muslim and Hindu friends even here in rural Georgia and we endure much together. I have gay and lesbian friends, although I am a member of what is often misjudged as a strict, legalistic, non-tolerant faith - a Mormon. My personal motto is a simple southern one:
      Love 'em all. Let God sort 'em out.
      I also agree with your assertion regarding educational bias and can offer much support of this fact. I battle the middle against the less educated all the time. I have done it all my life.
      I do not discuss my educational background much, for it does not define me in the end. I grew up in a farming family and was the first child ever able to attend college. Let's say I spent 8 years after high school and leave it at that.I also fooled around quite a bit during that time too. I am often called upon by the PhD's at the USDA experiment stations to check a test site or a scientific problem that may be occurring within the agricultural region in which I live. I work only as a paid consultant these days. I'm getting too old to be hiking through 2,000 acre test sites and supervising 3 lab facilities every day for 8 hours. I've done my time, honey.
      Nine times out of ten after phone calls, I will arrive on site to find the PhD was wrong and the humble man tilling the ground was correct. There is great value in post graduate education, yes. But I will place that on the same level as lifetime experience any day of the week.
      When I'm faxed a gas chromatograph and mass spectrometry reading, from the PdD, I do indeed pay it attention. But what I hope to find as I'm driving the Ford F 150 south, is a man who grew up on the land he is farming. In Georgia that is still usually the case.
      He will have played in it, had his Mama fuss at him for tracking it into the house, poked at ice crystals that formed in it with a stick during the winter, and rolled it into mud balls during the summer as he grew. If he is at least 40, he will have 4 decades experience of watching it every day, though each, rain, storm, tornado, freeze, baking southern drought and all 4 seasons. I can almost garantee you if something is not right, he is the man most likely to be able to point you in the direction of finding the solution quickly. You can count upon it. He often can tell you exactly what is wrong, but has simply been "dismissed" as a nobody by someone who thinks they know more becuase they are sitting in a lab with a Phd.
      I always work hard to make the farmers feel as truly important as they are. I make it a point to phone the results and solution in if possible to the USDA on site and give them full credit for it while they can hear the call being made. You are correct on your assertions.
      My sister, you have placed yourself on the firing line of life. God will protect you there. Please remember that courage is only fear that has said it's prayers. You will certainly be in mine - along with your loved ones and friends.

  3. gailsmall says:

    Shirley Sherrod's example of reconciliation and forgiveness is a current example of civil discourse...and her story that was finally told by the media sheds light on how her and her family have sacrificed for the civil rights of individuals.

  4. George Taylor says:

    "Often, it is encouraged by partisan voices who label activities of which they disapprove by suggesting they are "anti-American" or some other epithet."

    This statement "pre-frames" the dialogue and is a barrier to honest communication.

  5. Francine Caran says:

    You should hold Glenn Beck accountable for inciting this violence. He should be held accountable. It would be wonderful in a local Attorney who is fed up with what is going on with Fox news would do this for you "pro bono". Thank you for all you do and God Bless us all.

  6. Bonnie Maddox says:

    Although horrific, this event has led me back to The Tides. I may not have known about it for too much time to come otherwise. Where there is sadness, there is also hope.
    I am saddened greatly, and so grateful there was no loss of human life. I also now have the wonderful doors of The Tides open to me again, which has proven to be a blessing.
    I am of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormon faith, a much persecuted and maligned religion, and also wonder if a fellow member is one of the media commentators I fear may have fed this media beast. I will never know for sure. The attacker used his free will and agency to plan this attack.
    I cannot speak for my church on this matter. I can speak only for myself and my own experience of 23 years within it - not always actively. Sadly, I cannot understand how the commentator and I are even attending the same church; so different are our views.
    We are committed to tithe 10% of our income for emergency world relief, world missions, world education, and welfare for the poor. Is this not "spreading the wealth from the "haves" to the "have nots"?
    Our organization is globally organized and uniform. If I need to fly from my home state of Georgia to Tokoyo, I do not need to pack my scriptures or Relief Society lessons. They will be the same in Tokoyo as in Georgia.
    We are taught to " Gaze upon the whole of humanity with a level eye." There is no racism or lack of tolerance I have ever ecountered within this faith. I live in the rural south and Black, Latino, Japanese and White women in our local congregation babysit and even co-nurse their children from time to time. We hug each other, kiss each cheek of every color. Cry together, laugh together. It does not matter here.
    According to the theories of RW commentators, we are a church who fits a social, marxist organization suborting democracy and taking over the world. Church Headquarters in Utah is beginning to take a very serious look at this "social justice" media issue. Let us pray for those elders who make these important decisions. Let us join together in honest prayer for him and other commentators like him that they be enlightened and unleashed from the bondange of affluence and greed. May their eyes be unvieled. May a sense of social responsibility become paramount to sensationalism and higher ratings. May we pray that we all remain within spiritual humility before our Creator and remember that we are all brother and sister here in this existence and in the ne to come. - Bonnie M.

  7. Even though we're only 50 miles away, I have never heard of you until the "incident."

    Now knowing the full story of what Fox has done to you, I wouldn't be so passive. Someone tried to aim a gun at your head. Do something about it!

    Slap Fox with a lawsuit. Get the feds to investigate.

    If the KKK can't get away with attempted murder, neither can Fox.

  8. Laura Saunders says:

    Following reading a story on inflammatory media language, I looked up the Tides Foundation to see what might be getting people upset. I was surprised and delighted by your website - your calm and civil tone is a refreshing change from strident voices of all persuasions. Bravo for your promotion of a civil discourse and for your calm and reasoned response to being targeted. In the face of current challenges to our global economic systems, food production systems, and climate, what Benjamin Franklin said is more true than ever, "We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we will all hang separately."

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