This is the open letter we're publishing and sending to to the McCain/Palin campaign.
Dear Senator McCain and Governor Palin,
Time and again in America, people of all races and backgrounds have overcome division and fear, and come together to uplift the country and create a more equal and just society. It's part of what makes this country great.
With an African-American nominee running on a major party ticket and a woman on the Republican ticket for the first time in history, this campaign has seen Americans--men and women of all races--inspired to continue that great tradition, coming together to bridge the gaps that history has set between us in service of our national progress.
But let us be clear: while we have made great strides in this country when it comes to racial equality, we are not finished. Now, more than ever, we need leadership that understands that we live in complex times where too many are quick to judge another by the complexion of their skin or the sound of their name.
In the last few weeks, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, rhetoric at your campaign events has taken an increasingly dangerous tone that seems to ignore the precarious state of our progress when it comes to race and ethnicity.
Supporters at your rallies and other events have used hateful language and called for violence against Sen. Obama yelling "kill him!" "off with his head!" and "bomb Obama."
For the most part, you have stood by in silence. In addition, you have also repeatedly made statements that somehow connect Senator Obama with terrorism. Your surrogates have emphasized his middle name. This is problematic and dangerous, and we believe helps create the conditions that have given rise to these incidents of violent rhetoric from some of your supporters.
Today, we're standing together as Americans of all political persuasions to express our deep concern that the decisions of your campaign are contributing to a dangerous atmosphere of paranoia, division, and hate that, as we have already seen, has the potential to seriously harm our country and its progress.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
In these trying times, candidates seeking the highest offices in the land must call on the best in each of us, and call off the worst.
We urge you to join people of conscience from all races and backgrounds to reject the politics of division and fear, and come together to uplift the country and create a more equal and just society.
-- The undersigned --