Opinion: Another death at hands of police. 'How do we keep allowing this to happen?'

It is searing irony that on Friday, Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance day — a day commemorating the savage and systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators — this nation was riveted by videos of the savage and systematic fatal beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols by five police officers in Memphis.

The 6 million Jews may have also asked what Tyre asked, as he was tortured and beaten to death: "What did I do?"

The real question is, "How do we keep allowing this to happen?"

While we can easily point to rogue cops and a culture of brutality, the truth is that we are connected to this brutal inhumanity. The hate and amorality are in full force today, and as in the 1930s and 1940s, when countless "good" people turned a blind eye or absented themselves from engagement to change the culture and the growing violence. Countless Jewish mothers grieved, heartbroken at the human viciousness killing their children, much as Tyre Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, grieves at the brutal murder of her son.

It is not enough to say "this has to stop." Our inaction to work for meaningful, systemic changes, locally, statewide, and nationally — work that would make Tyre's tragedy an impossibility — is what convicts us this day. The Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut implores all who read this statement to continue the work in which they are involved that promotes respect and tolerance for all. We plead with those who are not involved to find a community with which to work in order to make change. We need ALL involved.

Basic decency and humanity are not a lot to ask for. They should be the basis for all of our encounters with each other. In Judaism, the Torah commands Jews to protect the sanctity of life. Virtually all religions have similar teachings. As the world honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day and as the world mourns the death of Tyre Nichols, the world also must remember we are family — mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and extended family.

Faith can be a healing force, but we need you.

The Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut executive board: Dr. Kareem Adeeb, president; the Rev. Mark Lingle, executive director; Pastor Chris Altrock, committee liaison; Michael Hyman, vice president; and Recording Secretary Marie Orsini Rosen, vice president.