Statement on Violence in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017 (New York, NY) – Today, the Hispanic Federation issued the following statement in response to the violence perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend:

“The Board of Directors, staff, and network of Latino grassroots organizations of the Hispanic Federation strongly condemn the violence unleashed this weekend by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. We are heartbroken by the deaths of Heather Heyer, and Virginia State Policemen H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates. We join their grieving families in remembering and honoring their sacrifice and service.

“The “Unite the Right” rally and march were a disgraceful display of white nationalism designed to enflame racial tensions and terrorize the American people. The organizers of the event, leaders of the so-called “alt-right” movement, are heirs to a tradition of racial violence and terrorism that continues to cause grave injury to our nation.

“While we were heartened to see the forceful condemnation of white nationalist violence coming from leaders of both parties, we were deeply troubled by President Trump’s equivocal statement in the immediate aftermath of this weekend’s attacks. Given the close, documented ties between senior members of the administration and the “alt-right” movement, the President has a special duty to reassure the nation that the racist ideology and policies of the white nationalist movement are unwelcome in our government. Sadly, President Trump failed to offer us leadership in the face of chaos. His attempt to draw a moral equivalency between white supremacists and counter-protesters was deeply flawed and insulting. In the fight for the expansion and protection of civil rights there is only one side: the side of justice.

“We call on the President to completely and publicly distance himself from those advisors and supporters who advocate white supremacist ideas and practices, and lay out the strategies his administration will put in place to fight these groups. America cannot afford to give any quarter to those whose vision of the nation is tethered to dangerous ideas of hatred and violence. On Election Night, Donald Trump pledged that he would be President for all Americans. With nearly seven months into his term, it's high time he start acting like it."