Pallone Statement on Charlottesville Anniversary
Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement on the anniversary of the protests and violence in Charlottesville last year.
“One year ago, we saw white supremacist demonstrators try to wreak havoc amongst the American public. The three victims who lost their lives, including counter-protestor Heather Heyer and officers Berke M.M. Bates and H. Jay Cullen, are still on our minds and will not be forgotten. The white supremacist demonstrations and deadly violence that occurred in Charlottesville are antithetical to American values, and pose a serious threat to our society.
“It is impossible to forget the response of President Trump and his administration when he initially refused to denounce these hate groups; then waffled on his denouncement; then finally declared a form of moral equivalency between the white supremacy groups and the counter-protestors. The President shares responsibility for the emboldening of these radical and violent entities. The overwhelming majority of Americans do not believe that there were “some very fine people on both sides.” They can see the difference between right and wrong and continue to speak out against the President’s bigotry.
“Unfortunately, that dark day is not an anomaly in President Trump’s America. White supremacists and other hate groups are planning to assemble this weekend for their so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House. Meanwhile, bigotry has spilled into the Trump administration’s policies in areas such as immigration and civil rights. The events in Charlottesvile and the President’s cowardly response revealed the warped values of the Trump administration.
“We must work together to defeat this toxic ideology and the violence it provokes, with or without the President’s assistance. Last year in Long Branch I joined with numerous faith leaders and citizens to speak out against the bigotry we saw in Charlottesville and I continue to be inspired by all those working to enact positive change. I have faith that our country will rise above the events of Charlottesville and continue on a path towards equality and justice for all Americans.”