A white nationalist rally, called ‘Unite the Right,’ turned violent on 12 August. The protest took place in Charlottesville, Virginia and left at least one person dead and dozens of others injured.
Now, advocacy groups including Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have released statements condemning the actions of the white supremacists at this rally.
What did they say?
‘Hate and bigotry must never be met with silence or half-hearted rebukes,’ HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement. ‘The horrific events unfolding in Charlottesville today are a stark reminder that the racism and white supremacy that has been allowed to fester for generations has recently been emboldened by the policies and rhetoric of politicians like Donald Trump.’
‘There are no two sides. Donald Trump’s refusal to clearly condemn white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the “alt-right” is a failure of leadership and once again proves he is unfit to serve. All national leaders, from the President and Vice President on down, must explicitly and unequivocally condemn this violent extremism.’
‘We were revolted by the racist violence and intimidation in Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday, and stand in solidarity with the communities of color targeted by the naked display of hate and bigotry,’ Lambda Legal CEO Rachel Tiven said in a statement.
‘We are moved by the courage and love of the brave people who came out to confront them and grateful to the thousands of Americans who protested white supremacy last night in cities across the nation. Our hearts go out to the families of those injured and killed.’
Like the HRC, Lambda Legal also condemns and vows to fight against the rampant racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and anti-Semitism that reared its head on 12 August.
‘Racist violence is as old as America. At the center of our struggle as a nation there has always been a battle between subjugation based on white supremacy and ideals of equality of justice for all. The racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic views so boldly on display this weekend are a cancer on our society,’ Tiven stated.
‘Donald Trump has encouraged and invited bigotry in many forms and has refused to condemn domestic hate crimes and terrorism when the perpetrators were white. His inability to condemn yesterday’s murderous attack on anti-racist protestors is not surprising given the reality that the Trump Administration has become a haven for people sympathetic to or, at a minimum, apologists for the kinds of groups that brought terror to the streets of Charlottesville this weekend.’
‘But to lay the blame for yesterday’s violence all at President Trump’s feet would be to dishonor the countless thousands of people who have for centuries fought, suffered, and died for their freedom in a nation built on the slavery of African Americans and the genocide of Native Americans.’
‘Their sacrifices are testament to the deep roots of racism. In the battle for the soul of our nation, LGBT people stand on the side of freedom and justice for all,’ Tiven concluded.
The ACLU and GLAAD have yet to release statements about the rally.