Statement on Charlottesville

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First, let me be absolutely clear, I have consistently called out violence and hate when I see it. I believe that peaceful means are the only way to change anything. Violence has a tendency to only add more violence in the world. The only acceptable means to use force, is that which is used in self defense.

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a testament to what the two party system has been doing to America. We have become more divided than ever before. This is not the sole fault of Trump, Obama, or any other politician. This has been building up for decades, and only now are we seeing the fruits, fruits rotten to the core.

To the members of the alt-right: your messaging of white nationalism has absolutely no place in our nation. While it is absolutely your right to speak your hateful opinion without government interference, it is my right also to speak up against your bigotry. White nationalism has been on the losing side of history for decades. The Declaration of Independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Note that this says “all men,” not ones that carry a lighter pigmentation of skin.

Even more disgusting that the words of hate you speak in regard to others, was the deplorable defense of the actions taken by James Alex Fields, Jr. of Ohio, who drive his car into a crowd, killing one and injuring thirteen others. How dare you cheer on the death and maiming of other human beings?

I condemn the messaging language and violence of the alt-right.

To the elements of Antifa and BLM that are attacking the Unite the Right protesters:

There is nothing wrong with rejecting fascism and calling it out. There is nothing wrong with seeking better justice when the scale is tipping in a manner that dis-proportionally casts a people based on pigmentation of skin in a negative light. I wholeheartedly agree and have even spoken out myself about the dangers of white nationalism and the need for criminal justice reform. That being said, when you become violent, I cannot support you.

In Virginia, there were some of you with makeshift flamethrowers, mace, baseball bats, etc. to attack a message with violence. This is not acceptable and I will never support those actions. I condemn those actions as repugnant.

If your ideas are superior, then have a show of superiority based on intellect and civil discourse. Do not resort to rioting, looting, or assaulting others.

To members of both elements: if you brought weapons looking for a fight, you should be charged with conspiracy. You have gone with the intent to cause harm to others and you should be held accountable. The first amendment only applies to speech, not assault. You are not free to threaten, intimidate, and attempt to harm others. This is no longer a peaceful assembly. Since it is not peaceful, you have lost any protections guaranteed under the first amendment. I will not defend what you are trying to say when you come prepared to enact violence.

I ask anyone who reads this that might be considering joining with BLM, Antifa, or the alt-right, that they pay attention to what elements in that group are doing. If you do not want to be associated with violence, or in the case of the alt-right racism, then you need to step up as a leader and start a movement that seeks peaceful resolution. Do not associate with a group merely because there are numbers present. Find a way to air your grievances in a way that doesn’t cast you in a negative light, tarnishing your message.

Please find a way for peace.

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