Opinion: On Events in Charlottesville

Opinion: On Events in Charlottesville

What some representatives had to say about hate, bigotry and the deaths and damage that resulted.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe:

“I convened an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the next steps we, as a commonwealth, must take in order to begin the arduous process of healing our community and confronting the racism that stubbornly remains in our nation. The events of this weekend have only strengthened our resolve to combat hatred and bigotry, and I want Virginia to be a leader in the national conversation about how we move forward. I have directed my team to impanel a commission with representatives from community organizations, faith leaders, and law enforcement to make actionable recommendations for executive and legislative solutions to advance our mission of reconciliation, unity, and public safety.”

Sharon Bulova, chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors:

“The tragedy that took place in Charlottesville does not represent who we are as Virginians. I am incredibly saddened by the hatred and bigotry that was displayed and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the three individuals who tragically lost their lives. We must all do our part to set the tone in our own communities by exemplifying values of acceptance and kindness. As it is often said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ That is where we all have incredible power and influence every day in our communities.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner:

“Virginians mourn the life taken in this morning's events and reject this hateful violence in Charlottesville. We condemn the intolerance behind it and those who would pass it off as a legitimate political movement. Those who traveled to Virginia to incite unrest don't understand the Virginia-born values that make our country great.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

“Virginia has come so far in recent decades to put division behind us. … It's sickening to see the displays of violence and bigotry that were brought to Charlottesville by white nationalists, which tragically led to injuries and at least one death today. This is not who we are. Charlottesville is a vibrant community that recognizes the deep scars from our past and has rejected hatred in favor of inclusion.

“The fact that people like David Duke cited the President to justify their views is a disturbing reminder that divisive rhetoric has sadly contributed to a climate where individuals who espouse hate feel emboldened. As they seek publicity through their hateful tactics, let's pull together — regardless of party, race or religion — to reject hatred in no uncertain terms and stand together.”

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly:

“We banished hate a long time ago in Virginia. We must condemn this bigotry and not turn a blind eye to racism.”

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer:

“I join the great and passionate majority of Virginians who hold these values dear: abhorrence for racism and hatred, respect for law, and respect for one another. It is especially sad that this ugly incident occurred in the home of one of America's most treasured centers of learning. The work of creating a more just and equal society will never end and we will rededicate ourselves to that in the days and weeks ahead.”

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock:

“The Attorney General has done the right thing in opening a federal investigation that will have the full support of the Department of Justice. AG Sessions: ‘The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.’

“The neo-Nazi march and the hate and racism on display in Charlottesville are vile, have no place in Virginia, and are denounced by Republicans and Democrats alike in our great Commonwealth.”

Del. Marcus Simon:

“The scenes of white supremacist, racist neo-nazis marching proudly in Charlottesville along with heavily armed self-proclaimed militiamen chanting racist slogans and obscenely taunting counter-demonstrators are beyond disturbing. Virginia is better than this.

“Virginia's political leaders have the power to raise the level of discourse. To educate, inform, and enlighten with thoughtful discussion and debate. What's happened over the last 24 hours in Charlottesville is not happening in a vacuum and it's not an aberration. It's what happens when we demonize the other among us.

“What makes Virginia great is our growing diversity. Our openness to new and better ideas. Our willingness to accept everyone who comes here looking to build a better life, a stronger commonwealth and better world.

“We are better than the image that's being broadcast to the world today.”