We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Heather Heyer and to all the victims of the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. We stand with those who bravely protect and defend all communities that have been targeted by bigotry, hatred and intolerance.
On Monday, nearly 48 hours after Saturday’s tragic events, President Trump finally condemned by name neo-Nazi and White supremacist organizations. But unfortunately, his comments sound more like empty posturing when we look at the policies this administration has put into place that target vulnerable communities, and the White supremacist ties of some of his key advisors.
The reality is that time and again, this president has sought to divide instead of unite the country.
The reality is that time and again, this president has sought to divide instead of unite the country. When President Trump was a candidate, he slandered Mexican immigrants as criminals, questioned the fairness of a distinguished U.S.-born judge based solely on his Mexican heritage, and constantly repeated debunked falsehoods about immigration.
On August 14th, the president said that the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Saturday’s terrorist car attack that took the life of Heather Heyer and injured 19 others. But more than seven months into his administration, hate crimes and incidents have risen exponentially across the country. This has included several attacks on mosques—including a recent bombing in Minnesota. These acts are the result of the hateful rhetoric used by Trump both as a candidate and as president, and the administration’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies that we have repeatedly denounced.
While the president’s statement on Monday is an overdue improvement, the president’s overall response to the events in Charlottesville has been tepid, inadequate and bereft of leadership.
In that vein, we join with a host of our sister civil rights organizations in calling on President Trump to fire all those in his administration who have ties to White supremacists—namely Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller.
We will continue to raise our voices against bigotry and racism. We will not be silent.
Janet Murguía is the CEO and President of UnidosUS, previously known as National Council of La Raza.
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