Blunt Rochester Statement in Response to Trump’s Charlottesville Comments

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Wilmington, August 16, 2017 | Courtney McGregor (202-816-9444) | comments
The events that occurred in Charlottesville are indicative of a larger divide in our country. This is a seminal moment in our history – one where our president and our elected leaders can unite behind a message of peace and justice and be role models for positive progress. It is our responsibility to honor our history, not only cherish it. It is our responsibility to recognize the mistakes of our past and to be courageous enough to ensure we never repeat them.
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WILMINGTON, DE – Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) issued the following statement after President Trump doubled down on his comments regarding the violence in Charlottesville.

“When I took my oath of office, I became the first person of color to ever represent the state of Delaware in Congress. That day, I carried a scarf that my sister made for me. The scarf was of a print she found when studying our family history. My great-great-great grandfather, a former slave, had signed the document with an ‘X’ to vote in Georgia during the Reconstruction Era. He couldn’t sign his full name, he could only sign an ‘X.’

“Standing there, taking my oath of office with the scarf in my hand and recognizing that my election represented where we came from, I realized that change is possible. But change is only possible if we are willing to recognize and see each other as humans, as neighbors, as Americans.

“Over the last few days, we’ve seen history repeat itself – race riots broke out in Charlottesville and our president not only failed to denounce and condemn white supremacy, he doubled down on his view that the blame falls on both sides. We’ve seen the leader of our great nation give license to violence and hate. He has signaled to the ‘alt-right’ movement that they are empowered to continue in pursuit of their cause to wipe out those who look, pray, and love differently than them.

“The events that occurred in Charlottesville are indicative of a larger divide in our country. This is a seminal moment in our history – one where our president and our elected leaders can unite behind a message of peace and justice and be role models for positive progress. It is our responsibility to honor our history, not only cherish it. It is our responsibility to recognize the mistakes of our past and to be courageous enough to ensure we never repeat them.

“The people who stood up and spoke out to help my great-great-great grandfather finally get his right to vote, prevailed. They understood that progress wasn’t inevitable. They understood that it required a concerted effort in pursuit of justice. And today, as Heather Heyer’s family and friends mourn her loss, it’s paramount that we honor her memory, the fortitude of those who stood alongside her, and the memory of our ancestors by recommitting to that same pursuit of justice. 

“If you believe you would have stood up and fought against oppression, whether you would have marched with Dr. King or if you would have given safe-haven to Jews fleeing the Nazi’s –  stand up now, march now, create safe spaces now. Our freedom depends on it.”

 

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