Assembly Member Robert J. Rodriguez Statement on Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

This past weekend, our nation witnessed the incredible spectacle of Nazis, Klu Klux Klan members and white supremacists engaging in an organized act of terror in Charlottesville, Virginia. The crowd of demonstrators came to Charlottesville with hateful intent. Carrying weapons and spewing racial epithets, the scene was reminiscent of too many horrible incidents out of the South's ugly past.

The intolerable acts and senseless murder of Heather Heyer by a cowardly Neo-Nazi requires that we as a nation stand together to condemn the actions of those who wish to perpetrate hate and terror.

At this crucial moment in time, I call upon public leaders, clergy and all good men and women of conscience to speak out against the agents of hate that seek to divide us because of our race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. There is no place in our country for groups that subscribe to the ideologies of white supremacy and Neo Nazism.

The events of Charlottesville cannot go unchecked. We have a moral obligation to remain vigilant and speak out against racism and bigotry wherever it may appear. Charlottesville is not an isolated incident, it is a cautionary event alerting us to the unfinished conversations we need to have now more than ever in this country.

President Obama tweeted the words of Nelson Mandela this weekend, and I believe we should all contemplate them today.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can learn to love…For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."