CAPAC Members on Second Anniversary of White Supremacist Rally in Charlottesville

Aug 9, 2019 Issues: Civil Rights, Immigration

Washington, DC This weekend marks the second 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 released the following statements:

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

“Two years ago, amid chanted Nazi slogans of ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Blood and soil’, Heather Heyer and two state troopers tragically lost their lives to the violence that broke out during the white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. This dark moment of American history, where Neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederates, and dozens of other bigoted groups openly and proudly marched through our streets was made worse by President Trump’s refusal to condemn them, instead claiming there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides. That implicit support for white supremacist goals, in addition to his open adoption of white supremacist language and policies, has only encouraged those who marched in Charlottesville that their actions have the backing of the White House. This stoking by the president has also empowered and emboldened white supremacists to act on their bigotry, as we saw with the tragic shooting in El Paso this past weekend.

“However, it is important to remember that the hatred, xenophobia, and intolerance that defined the Charlottesville Rally and the El Paso shooting do not define America. The bigots who marched that day were opposed by those like Heather Heyer and her allies at Charlottesville and across the country who stood up to hatred. And while we cannot expunge hatred overnight, we can stand up to those whose rhetoric normalizes it and reject policies that allow it to turn violent. Every day we are shaping our future. Let us resolve to make it one that does not repeat the violence and bigotry of our past, but rather one that is safe for everyone, regardless of their race or faith. That is what Heather Heyer died for, and it’s up to us to continue the fight.” 

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

“Two years after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we remember the tragic loss of Heather Heyer’s life when she bravely protested against the rally. Tragedies such as this one, along with racist rhetoric that continues to come out of the White House, show us that the fight against racism is not over. America is a country built on diversity and a place where everyone should feel welcomed. Hate has no place in this country and we must all continue to call it out whenever and wherever we see it.”

Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21):

“It has been two years since Heather Heyer was viciously murdered by a white supremist for standing up against hate and bigotry at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our nation was struck again last week when three innocent lives were taken by a gunman in Gilroy, California. And just this weekend, 29 lives were taken during mass shootings that took place in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. This bigotry is not reflective of America, our values, and what we stand for. We must honor all the victims of these tragedies by continuing to stand strong against hate and bigotry in all its forms. While every American has a right to free speech, we must also remember that every American has a right to life.”

Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39):

“Two years ago, the nation witnessed the horrific sight of white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our fight to call out hate and bigotry in all their forms continues to this day. We cannot stand idly by while people of color across our nation are under attack as ‘anti-American’ and told to ‘go back where they came from.’ This is not who we are and does not represent the America that I and my fellow veterans and servicemembers chose to serve. We must make it clear that hate will never be tolerated in the United States.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07):

“Two years ago, we witnessed the horrific violence brought on by white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that resulted in the death of three innocent people. The president’s actions in the wake of this tragedy and his embrace of these groups was unacceptable and is in stark contrast to all we stand for as a nation. I believe in a loving and welcoming America and know the acts of these few people are not representative of our nation as a whole. As we remember this day and honor the victims, we must condemn these acts and unite against hatred, racism and xenophobia in all its forms and work for peace and acceptance.” 

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“The violence, bigotry and hate that transpired in Charlottesville has no place in our country. I unequivocally condemn the actions of the ‘Unite the Right’ rally. The First Amendment gives us the right to assemble peacefully. That right was violated for the people opposing the rally. When the principles of our country are threatened, we must stand together against racial injustice.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“Two years ago, watching white supremacists proudly and openly shout messages of bigotry, racism, and hatred on the streets of Charlottesville shocked the conscience of our nation. The Americans who courageously stood in defiance of these despicable beliefs truly are the best of us. The memories of Heather Heyer and Troopers Cullen and Bates live on when we come together to stand up against those who seek to oppress our fellow Americans.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“Two years ago, Charlottesville erupted in hate and violence at the hands of white supremacists, Klu Klux Klan members, and the alt-right. President Trump’s refusal to condemn racism and white supremacy emboldens those who want our country divided. The tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton last weekend are only the latest consequences of this animosity. We must continue to oppose policies and rhetoric that fuel hate. San Diego must continue to be an example of diversity and acceptance.”

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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 found