Fighting Back: “We will not let anyone take us back to the days of hatred and bigotry”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia.

(Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner gave the weekly Democratic address. They talked about the recent violence in their state, in the city of Charlottesville.)

“We will not let anyone take us back to the days of hatred and bigotry – we will not go back.”

“The violence that occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. […] In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter.”

“So we continue to step up and stand up for the things that matter, for human and civil rights, justice and equal opportunity for all.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

No transcript was provided but CSPAN gathers the unedited closed captions and shows them under the video. Here is the best available transcript (cleaned up as much as possible):

WE’RE ALL HORRIFIED BY THE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE LAST WEEKEND. OUR HEARTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO FAMILIES OF HEATHER HEYER AND OUR STATE TROOPERS BATES AND CULLEN. WE ALSO PRAY FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL RECOVERING.

I SPENT TIME IN CHARLOTTESVILLE THIS WEEK IN THE WAKE OF THE VIOLENCE AND I WAS INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT AND STRENGTH THAT I SAW FROM THE COMMUNITY AS IT TRIES TO HEAL. CHARLOTTESVILLE IS A VIBRANT, LOVING PLACE AND PEOPLE WHO SEEK TO TRY TO SHATTER THAT WILL FIND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO.

WE’VE BOTH HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING AS GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA. WE BOTH KNOW THAT PART OF LEADERSHIP IS THAT DURING MOMENTS OF CRISIS, WHEN PEOPLE ARE DIVIDED, YOU ACTUALLY SUMMON PEOPLE TO THE HIGHER ANGELS. ON THAT ACCOUNT, THE PRESIDENT DID NOT STEP UP AND DO HIS JOB.

THERE WAS A COMPLETE LACK OF MORAL LEADERSHIP FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT THIS WEEK AS HE WAS UNWILLING TO UNEQUIVOCALLY CALL OUT BIGOTRY FOR WHAT IT IS.

LET’S BE CLEAR: THE VIOLENCE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE WAS FUELED BY ONE SIDE, WHITE SUPREMACISTS SPREADING THEIR INTOLERANT MESSAGE OF RACISM, ANTI-SEMITISM AND INTIMIDATION. THOSE ARE THE FACTS. THE IDEOLOGIES OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS, NEO NAZIS, THE KKK AND OTHER HATE GROUPS HAVE NO PLACE IN THIS COMMONWEALTH OR OUR COUNTRY AND OUR NATION’S LEADERS NEED TO JOIN TO CALL OUT RACIST AND HATEFUL SPEECH, PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND WORK ON WAYS TO COMBAT HATE BASED CRIMES.

IT WAS FLAT OUT WRONG FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE STATE THERE WAS SOME LEVEL OF MORAL EQUIVALENCY BETWEEN THOSE WHO CAME TO CHARLOTTESVILLE TO PREACH HATE AND PRACTICE VIOLENCE AND THOSE WHO, MOSTLY FROM THE COMMUNITY, WERE THERE AS COUNTER-PROTESTERS ON BEHALF OF HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS. THE PRESIDENT’S WORDS ACTUALLY EMBOLDENED THOSE ON THE FRINGES AND FRANKLY OFFENDED THOSE OF US WHO WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH HATRED AND PREJUDICE.

WE CALL OURSELVES IN VIRGINIA A COMMONWEALTH BECAUSE THE WORD SIGNIFIES COMMUNITY. IT IS WHO WE ARE. VIRGINIA IS A STATE WITH A LOT OF SCAR TISSUE, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED HATRED, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED RACISM. BUT WE HAVE GROWN OUT OF RACIAL HATRED AND NOW WE ARE A MORE OPEN AND DIVERSE SOCIETY. WE WILL NOT LET ANYONE TAKE US BACK TO THE DAYS OF HATRED AND BIGOTRY, WE WILL NOT GO BACK.

THE VIOLENCE THAT OCCURRED IN CHARLOTTESVILLE HAS NO PLACE IN OUR COUNTRY. WE APPRECIATE THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT THAT PEOPLE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE AND FROM PEOPLE — AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF OUR COMMONWEALTH AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE NATION. IT REMINDS ME OF THE WORDS OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR WHO SAID OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE REMAIN SILENT ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER.

SO WE CONTINUE TO STEP UP AND STAND UP FOR THE THINGS THAT MATTER, FOR HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS, JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

~

Senator Kaine spoke again about the aftermath of Charlottesville on Meet the Nation on Sunday:

Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine spoke about the violent white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville last weekend and President Trump’s lack of moral leadership as he failed to unequivocally condemn them this week.

“We need to call out violence wherever it exists, but what the President did this week was suggesting there was some sort of moral equivalence in Charlottesville, and that is outrageous. The President didn’t have a hard time when a Somali, a young man, drove a car into a crowd at Ohio State…He called it an act of terrorism, which it was. When somebody drove a car into a crowd in Barcelona this week, he jumped on it immediately; it was as an act of terrorism. But, when this white supremacist drives a car into a crowd of people killing Heather Heyer and injuring scores more, the President says there’s fine people on ‘both sides’ or there’s violence on ‘both sides’. Why is he so confused, and unclear, and unwilling to call out the violent white supremacy that was on such gruesome display in my home state?” Kaine asked. “You have to condemn the intolerable.”

As communities debate whether to remove confederate monuments, Kaine also spoke about the importance of memorializing civil rights leaders and other figures who tell the broader story of American history.

“Let’s also talk about whose stories haven’t been told and what buildings or monuments we might think about erecting in the future…For all of us, whether we are in Congress or mayors or governors, we have to grapple with the painful meaning that some of these confederate era statues have but we also have to grapple with the history that we’ve refused to tell and the people we’ve refused to honor,” Kaine said. When asked about the confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol, Kaine continued, “The state gets to choose two people to represent the entire scope of the state’s history. Virginia obviously chose George Washington, the father of the country, but the second choice that was made in 1909 and has never been changed was Robert E. Lee. I think as you look at the scope of Virginia history here in 2017, and if you want there to be two people to really stand for who Virginia is, why wouldn’t you think about Pocahontas, who had she not saved John Smith’s life, we wouldn’t even be here possibly? Why wouldn’t you think about a Barbara Johns, who led a school walkout in Prince Edward County that ultimately became part of the Brown v. Board desegregation decision? Why wouldn’t you think about Governor Wilder, the grandson of a slave and a decorated Korean War combat veteran who became the first elected African American governor in the history of the country? I think from 2017 looking backward, I think Virginia could probably do better…”

~

Congress is in recess until September 5th so there is no weekly news conference from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

From Nancy Pelosi’s office this past week:

Pelosi Calls for Removal of Confederate Statues From Capitol

San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement calling on Speaker Ryan to join Democrats in supporting legislation to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol:

“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation.

“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.

“Under the leadership of Democrats in Congress, we have recognized more women and people of color in Congress’s collection of statues, including Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth and Helen Keller. As Speaker, we relocated Robert E. Lee out of a place of honor in National Statuary Hall – a place now occupied by the statue of Rosa Parks.

“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.”

~

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8 Comments

  1. It is no surprise that the White House did not release a presidential weekly address this past week – the country currently has no one with moral authority presiding over it. As the Virginia Senators said:

    It was flat out wrong for the president* of the United States to not once, but twice state there was some level of moral equivalency between those who came to Charlottesville to preach hate and practice violence and those who, mostly from the community, were there as counter-protesters on behalf of human and civil rights. The president*’s words actually emboldened those on the fringes and frankly offended those of us who want nothing to do with hatred and prejudice.

    *’s added

  2. Also in the news, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate of the costs of cancelling the CSR (Cost Sharing Reduction) payments to insurance companies.

    Pelosi Statement on CBO Report on Consequences of Ending Cost Sharing Reduction Payments

    San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office released an assessment of the consequences if President Trump follows through with his threat to cut off the cost sharing reduction payments required under the Affordable Care Act. Leader Pelosi had requested that the CBO conduct this analysis.

    “The CBO’s report once again exposes the vast cynicism of President Trump’s threats to purposefully raise Americans’ health costs by cutting off cost sharing reduction payments. If he follows through with his threats, President Trump will be singlehandedly responsible for raising premiums across America by 25 percent, exploding the deficit by nearly $200 billion, and creating more bare counties.

    “Trumpcare collapsed because Americans overwhelmingly recognized the cruelty and higher costs it meant for them and their loved ones. Instead of enabling the President’s extortion, Republicans should work constructively with Democrats to guarantee the cost sharing reduction payments will be made, stabilize the markets, and lower costs for all Americans.

    “Republicans should abandon Trumpcare once and for all, and join Democrats for the long overdue bipartisan conversation to update and improve the Affordable Care Act.”

  3. During the recess, Democratic Senators Kamala Harris (CA) and Cory Booker (NJ) appeared at a conference sponsored by the Brennan Center.

    Women Unshackled: Policy Solutions to Address the Growth of Female Incarceration

    On Tuesday, July 18th the Brennan Center for Justice, in collaboration with the Justice Action Network and Google, co-hosted an event called “Women Unshackled: Policy Solutions to Address the Growth of Female Incarceration” in Washington, D.C. The first ever policy forum to specifically address female incarceration, the event brought together a diverse coalition of bipartisan policymakers, legislators, and criminal justice advocates that are committed to reducing the female prison population and improving the quality of life for current female inmates. Notable speakers included Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and Representatives Mia Love, Doug Collins, and Sheila Jackson Lee. Panels also included a number of formerly incarcerated women who shared their experiences and recommendations.

    Kamala Harris:

    Corey Booker:

  4. This tweet is still the best from last week:

  5. Just checking in. Stayed home today with third day of a migraine, but since I’m in 98% totality for the eclipse, I’ll step out in the backyard and do an eclipse dance to get rid of Donald Trump. I think the Force will be with me

    • {{{kathy from pa}}} – Healing Energy and hope the eclipse dance rids our nation not just of pvl45, but for what he stands for.

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