CAPAC Members Reflect on Fourth Anniversary of White Supremacist Rally in Charlottesville

Aug 12, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Today marks the fourth anniversary of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left three dead and more than a dozen injured. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Four years ago, hundreds of proud bigots, neo-Confederates, Ku Klux Klan members, and neo-Nazis armed with weapons and heavy shields filled the streets of Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s statue and to intimidate people of color and religious minorities. This hateful riot turned violent and resulted in the senseless deaths of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M Bates, injured 30 people, and revealed that the forces of white supremacy still plague our country. Former President Trump’s refusal to condemn the violent racists or to use the words ‘white supremacy’ or ‘domestic terrorism’ emboldened these groups and helped lay the groundwork for a political movement to make excuses for another group of bigoted domestic terrorists who attacked the US Capitol on January 6.

“Fortunately, we now have a President who believes that hatred and white supremacy have no place in American society. As one of his first actions, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 to advance racial equity and support for communities of color and tasked his Domestic Policy Council to coordinate efforts to embed racial equity throughout the federal government. And, as the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community grappled with skyrocketing rates of anti-Asian hate, President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law to strengthen our hate crimes laws and protect vulnerable communities. I am especially proud that this legislation included the text of my bill, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, named in part for Heather Heyer.

“As we mark the fourth anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, let us re-dedicate ourselves to ensuring that all people, regardless of their race, religion, or background, can live in an America that is free from hate.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“On the fourth anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we continue to condemn that horrible and shameful day, and remain committed to our fight against the despicable racism and bigotry that still plagues our nation. We also continue to remember the lives of Heather Heyer and Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. On May 20th, President Biden signed my COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law to help combat the ongoing hate and violence against Asian Americans and other impacted communities, and I am hopeful that this new law will help address the problem. There is no place for hate anywhere in our society. We must all denounce this unacceptable and cowardly discrimination, intolerance and violence, and do everything possible to end it. Our diversity has always made us stronger. We cannot – and must not – ever lose sight of this.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair:

“Since the founding of our country, racism and white supremacy have fueled hatred and violence. Today, on the anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, we remember Heather Heyer, a young woman who lost her life protesting the rally. We also remember that it is our patriotic duty as Americans to condemn racism and white supremacy in every form. Today and everyday, let us root out intolerance and fight for a more perfect union.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“Today we honor and remember the lives lost during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Heather Heyer and Troopers Cullen and Bates would still be alive today were it not for the white supremacists and former president who fueled these hateful attacks. Today we are reminded that more work needs to be done to combat racism and xenophobia in this country.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“Today, on the fourth anniversary of the violent white supremacist attack in Charlottesville, VA, we remember Heather Heyer, who was killed while protesting against racism and hate. We must take this opportunity to condemn bigotry and white supremacy in all forms. I join my CAPAC colleagues in working toward a nation where everyone is safe from hatred, violence, and racism.”

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“Four years since the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we renew our commitment to reject all forms of racism, violence, and bigotry and we pause to remember the life of Heather Heyer, a protester who was killed that awful day. Hatred and white supremacist violence have no place in our society. As we continue to recover from all of the challenges of this year, it's critical that we come together to build a more safe and just nation for all.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“Four years ago, the nation’s eyes turned to Charlottesville as white supremacists marched the streets in a deadly riot. Since then, millions across the country have stood up against racial injustice, even as the hate that fueled that day continues to bleed into our national dialogue and daily lives - even threatening our very democracy. The Americans who courageously stood in defiance of those despicable beliefs in Charlottesville truly are the best of us, and the memories of Heather Heyer and Troopers Cullen and Bates continue to inspire us all to respond to hatred and racism with love, unity, and action.”

Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04):

“Four years ago, America watched in horror as white supremacists gathered in the streets of Charlottesville to promote racism and hate. Their violence and vitriol was an assault on American values and a clear attempt to intimidate people of color. We will never be silent in the face of such bigotry. Today, I stand with my CAPAC colleagues to denounce hatred, honor the lives of Heather Heyer, Trooper-Pilot Berke Morgan Matthew Bates and Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, III, and work towards a future that promotes tolerance and acceptance.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12):

“Today marks the fourth anniversary of the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia when white supremacists filled the streets. This open assault on American values which turned deadly should have never resulted in the loss of innocent lives. These Americans were victims of a campaign of bigotry and racism. The memories of Heather Heyer and Troopers Cullen and Bates serve as a reminder why we must always call out hatred in all forms that we encounter it. America will always be stronger for its rich diversity.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.