Trump Urged to Condemn Hateful Ideology, Violence of White Supremacists
New York City--Human Rights First today strongly condemns the hateful gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and urges President Trump to speak out clearly and forcefully against the dangerous extremist ideology of racism and discrimination perpetuated by members of the so-called “alt-right.” The organization mourns with the families of the slain counter-protestor and Virginia State Troopers, and all those who were injured as they peacefully stood up against bigotry and hatred.
“Under the U.S. Constitution, all members of our society have the right to freedom of speech, but what the world witnessed this weekend should be called by its true name: evil,” said Human Rights First’s Rob Berschinski.
“The response of the President of the United States to this weekend’s events has been woefully inadequate. Donald Trump’s disinterest in condemning neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology dishonors his office and the people of the United States. He should immediately, and unequivocally, condemn bigotry and hate not in the abstract, but in the way it is manifesting in America’s streets.
“President Trump needs to permanently distance himself from white supremacists who have repeatedly stated that they are acting in his name. In so doing, he should immediately fire those members of the White House staff linked to white nationalism and the so-called ‘alt-right.’ Members of Congress of both parties should demand as much from the president. To not do so is to embolden those that stand in opposition to our highest ideals, and invite additional violence.”
White supremacists held rallies on Friday night and Saturday to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The protestors waved Confederate flags, and chanted Nazi-era slogans and phrases including “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.” Peaceful counter-protestors were quickly met with violence from the mob, culminating in a car driving into a crowd killing one and injuring at least 30 more.
The Charlottesville mayor and many members of Congress quickly condemned the white nationalist protestors and their extremist ideology, recognizing that their violence and hate speech is the backbone of oppression.
“We applaud the many public statements from leaders across America’s political spectrum who have rejected in the strongest terms the vile ideology on display in Virginia. We stand with members of the Charlottesville community who peacefully gathered to reject the purveyors of hate. And we mourn for those killed and injured in what should only be described as an act of domestic terrorism,” added Berschinski.