Statement on Unite the Right Rally
“Today a band of neo-nazis, alt-righters, white nationalists, and other assorted opponents of equality have come to the seat of America’s government to “unite the right.” Just as they did a year ago in Charlottesville, they’ve come to provoke anger, hatred, and even violence. Regardless of their claims to be defending America’s heritage, they are laying siege to the very foundation of the America we know and love: liberty and equality.
Ours is a nation built upon a set of ideals, not a racial identity. Through our history, even as we have failed to fully live up to our values, we have continued to strive for them and gradually advanced their cause. Equality is one of the self-evident truths on which our country is founded, and as such, it must be honored for all to be recognized in any. To deny anyone equality under the law is to reject the cause of freedom. Equality and liberty are inseparable truths and an attack on one must be understood as an attack on the other.
Their desire is to be welcomed as a legitimate and empowered faction of the Republican Party, binding themselves to even moderate Republicans in order to normalize their vile bigotry and xenophobia. No politician or party should ever accept such a devil’s bargain, advancing racism and hate in exchange for political power.
Sadly, President Trump has continually failed his party and the nation by speaking out of both sides of his mouth when discussing white supremacist rallies. His insistence on the moral equivocation of neo-nazis and counterprotesters is an effort to provide political cover to overt racism and give a nod to a bigoted faction, even as he reads halfheartedly from a script denouncing them.
If Republican leaders wish to prove that they really have the best interest of Americans – all Americans – at heart, they will reject today’s march directly and unequivocally. If they unite around anything other than a total rejection of racism and divisiveness, the country must unite against them.”