BY STATE SENATOR JAMES SANDERS, JR.
These are trying times to be an American. In the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, we have watched the sleeping dragon of racist hatred emerge and spread death in its wake. Death, hatred – dire though these are, are they worse than watching the “leader of the free world,” so called, defend white supremacy? Can such damage ever be undone?
This incident in question occurred at a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12th to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee. The group clashed with counter-demonstrators. A speeding car crashed into the anti-racist protesters killing Heather Meyer, 32, and injuring at least 19 others.
Mr. President, America needs leadership, not a Commander-in-Chief who caters to domestic terrorists. If we do not take a stand now against these Klansman, white supremacists and Nazis who committed murder in Charlottesville, then when will we? President Trump, you need to back down from your support of white supremacy. Those who marched with loaded guns or plowed their cars into bystanders in Charlottesville do not understand our nation’s history and the progress we have made to repair the past. Yes, we have a long way to go, but these domestic terrorists are taking us back to a tortured part of American history. They would be in good company with their beloved Hitler. Indeed, we hope their movement follows the path he ultimately set: utter defeat and cowardly self-destruction.
To the Klan and other fascists we say: We have fought back against your madness many times. When Hitler and his “master race” plunged the world into war, our fathers and mothers rallied and stopped you. But even before that, when Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis sought to remake a part of the Union as a land of freedom for the slaveholder, we came from the hills and the plains by the hundreds of thousands to stop them. In both of these crusades for freedom, people of color laid down their lives in the field of honor by the hundreds of thousands to defend your freedom, freedom you now claim to preach race hatred. What sane person would honor your cowardly attacks on the memory of these soldiers who fought for your liberty?
There is only one race, the human race. We may have all come here on different ships, but we are in the same boat now. Praise to the counter protesters for putting their bodies on the line to stand up for what all patriotic Americans believe in. They are the ones who ARE making America great.
To quote our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, encouraging his countrymen to take up the fight against the evil of slavery: “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”