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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the recent white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:

“Here we are in the seventeenth year of the Twenty-First Century. To watch hatred and violence unleashed on peaceful protestors, in a peaceful American city, ranks among the lowest of the lows of Donald Trump’s presidency. Americans who were doing nothing more than exercising their right to assemble against the hatred represented by the statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park was nothing short of an atrocity and Donald Trump owns it. What occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, was an act of domestic terrorism committed by white supremacists whose despicable beliefs represent the worst of American history. These individuals share a fundamental commitment to the violent destruction of all of the gains we as a nation have made in the struggle for human rights and dignity. From the Civil War to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement, these hateful white supremacists have been focused on recruiting and indoctrinating White men who will focus their efforts on reversing the results of the Civil War, undermining the human and civil rights of African Americans, and other racial and religious minorities – indeed, all non-white Americans. Their protest was an attempt to defend statues honoring the shameful legacy of Robert E. Lee, who waged war on the United States to protect the evil institution of slavery. I will continue my fight to remove the name of this Confederate general as well as that of Stonewall Jackson from the streets of Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York, and eliminate this insult to the descendants of women and men who were held in bondage. Donald Trump spoke of violence ‘on many sides.” Really? At best this was him being totally detached from reality and an honest misunderstanding of the real situation or at worst a demonstration of solidarity with the white supremacists who marched in his name. We have witnessed him advocating violence at his campaign rallies and have difficulty denouncing the endorsement of David Duke. We have even most recently heard him advocate for police brutality right here in the state of New York. As we mourn the people who were killed and injured, yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder in opposition to hatred. Notwithstanding Donald Trump, and his White House cohorts, this white supremacist mentality cannot and will not stand.”