WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 13, 2017) — Three days of white supremacist marches and protest in Charlottesville, Va., have brought condemnation from Asian and Pacific Islander American groups and a call for intervention by at least one U.S. Congressman.
“In response to white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville and the death of an anti-racism protester, I am calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as our nation’s top law enforcement officer, to fulfill his responsibility to protect the public by devoting all necessary resources to combat the threats posed by white supremacists and other hate groups,” U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8) said on Saturday. “Generations of Americans have lived up to their responsibility of confronting white supremacy and racial hatred, and ours must do the same.”
Men and women are rallying in support of white supremacism, including hateful ideologies born of the Confederacy and Third Reich, Krishnamoorthi said. Many marched through the streets last night bearing torches and chanting ‘blood and soil,’ a direct translation of the Nazi doctrine of ‘Blut und Boden.’ The choice of words was not accidental, he said.
Twenty protestors who assembled in opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy were injured when a car rammed into the crowd on Saturday. One of the victims has since died while others continue to receive treatment for life-threatening injuries, he said.
“To truly honor the casualties, Americans from every background, race, and creed must join together in opposition to the forces of hate we have witnessed over the last day in Charlottesville,” he said. “Our commitment to our common humanity and shared values is not only fundamental to our country’s greatness, it is who we are.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, called the exhibition of white supremacists marchers a “domestic act of terror and an ugly display of hate.”
The Advancing Justice statement said that many people are shocked full measure of hate and anger to the streets of Charlottesville, but that Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latinx, and LGBT communities are all too familiar with the true face of racism. Asian American history is deeply intertwined with white supremacy-driven bans and prohibitions including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, so-called alien land laws, anti-miscegenation laws, and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Advancing Justice applauded the bravery of the anti-racism counter protesters who stood up and called out the white supremacists and radical extremists for their brazen display of hate. It is particularly appalling that President Trump chose not to condemn the white supremacy that was on full display yesterday and which led to at least one death. Such domestic terrorism must be condemned as such – ignoring it will only further divide our nation and lead to more violence.
What happened yesterday is not a partisan issue. There is no spin, no messaging, that can cover up what this is – an act of terrorism. The events in Charlottesville exposed an ugly underbelly in America that communities of color face on a daily basis.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice mourns those injured and killed and stands with all marginalized communities that are under attack. We applaud the elected officials who immediately condemned the violence in Charlottesville for what it is. Now, Mr. President, we call upon you to do the same.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.