Local, state leaders issue statements on VA racially-charged rally

Published: Aug. 13, 2017 at 1:27 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2017 at 10:25 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Several local and state leaders have issued statements in reaction to a racially charged rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally left at least three dead and dozens injured.

Congressman John Yarmuth issued the following statement:

"I join Americans across the country in mourning today's tragic loss of life in Charlottesville, Virginia in the violent aftermath of a white supremacist rally. I reject the disgusting and un-American display that fueled it. This is the predictable consequence of the increasing political provocations that have fanned the flames of racist hate. Failing to acknowledge that obvious fact, or pretending that everyone shares responsibility for this tragedy, is sheer deception. It is past time for our national leaders — starting with our President — to take a strong stand against bigotry and condemn hate speech before it turns violent. Anything less is a cowardly abdication of our solemn obligation to the people who elected us."

Representative Attica Woodson Scott issued this statement:

"Charlottesville is the embodiment of the Black lives matter movement. It is people fighting for their freedom, it is people supporting one another, it is people breaking free of the chains of oppression and vestiges of hate.

Charlottesville did not get here by itself. Louisville created the path by failing to act on becoming a Sanctuary City. Kentucky created the path by electing someone who is openly racist to the House of Representatives – someone who posted images of President and First Lady Obama as apes. Kentucky has legislated hate through blue lives matter, attacking women's reproductive health, and religious freedom.

We must do more than condemn hate. If you are a politician, what work will you do to overturn hateful legislation? How will you hold your racist colleagues accountable?"

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued the following statement via Twitter:

"The bigotry and hatred seen in #Charlottesville cannot be tolerated.Louisville stands with Mayor @MikeSigner to support American values and condemn Nazis and white supremacists #MayorsStands4All"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted this:

"The hate and bigotry witnessed in #Charlottesville does not reflect American values. I wholeheartedly oppose their actions."

Ninth District Democratic Party Chair, Adam Dickey, had this to say about the incident in Charlottesville:

"Over the last twenty-four hours, our nation has witnessed the vile nature of bigotry and hatred manifesting itself in Charlottesville, Virginia. These scenes have been deeply disturbing and challenge the core values on which our democracy was established. Make no mistake, this is an important moment for our nation and we must stand up against racism, violence, and hate. While the events have occurred miles away in another state, we are not immune from its impact and it easily could have occurred in any number of other communities throughout our nation, including those of the Ninth District. Tonight, we pray for those directly affected by this tragedy and will continue to stand with those united in seeking inclusion for all our citizens."

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes issued this statement:

"Disguised as an exercise of free speech, white nationalist and hate groups are engulfing Charlottesville, Virginia, in bigotry and racism today. Whether in Charlottesville, or in Pikeville, Kentucky – where a KKK rally was held earlier this year – hate and violence is nothing but an attempt to silence people who understand the true value of American freedoms.

"Our democracy is under siege from multiple fronts from the President's sham "election commission" to voter suppression efforts across the country to a travel ban that stokes racism and fear. It is up to every American to stand against divisive and dangerous rhetoric that degrades the spirit of America. 

"When we become reckless with our values and take freedoms for granted, we lose what makes America great. We cannot allow hate and bigotry to tear down democracy and freedom."

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan issued this statement on Sunday:

"White Supremacist or other hate groups are not welcome in New Albany, IN. Diversity is our strength and we will oppose any attempt to undermine the friendly, welcoming character of our city. Our prayers of support and healing are with the victims and families affected by yesterday's senseless violence in Charlottesville, VA."

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