A House of Representatives resolution passed both chambers of Congress on Tuesday and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature. The resolution is a direct response to President Trump’s failure of leadership after the Charlottesville, Virginia, attack. The bill was a bipartisan effort written in the House. It passed the House with unanimous support.
Why The Resolution?
The resolution seeks to codify the Congressional response to the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month. In August a large group of white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi’s, white nationalists, and various other members of the alt-right gathered in Charlottesville to protest. The torch wielding group comprised almost exclusively of young white men conjured images of hatred and racism of days long gone.
Anti-racism counter-protesters gathered to stand against the message of hate. A white supremacist responded by slamming his car into the counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring many. In the hours and days that followed, President Trump refused to condemn the violence. Immediately after the attack, the President blamed “both sides.” He received quick and fierce backlash for his refusal to condemn white supremacy, the KKK, and neo-nazis. A couple of days after the attack the President begrudgingly read a prepared statement that condemned those hate groups. The following day, in a Trump Tower display of defiance and bigotry, the President doubled down on his initial comments regarding the incident. In those remarks, he once again blamed “both sides” and said that there were “some very fine people on both sides.”
Congressmen and women from both sides of the aisle joined with a majority of Americans and several world leaders calling the bungled response a failure of leadership.
In the wake of the President’s failure to strongly condemn white supremacy, the KKK, neo-Nazi’s and other hate groups, Congress felt compelled to pass a resolution doing what Trump refused to do. Seeking to codify their condemnation of white supremacy and the hatred that fueled the domestic terrorism that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, they drafted a resolution.
The resolution that passed unanimously in the House and also passed smoothly through the Senate condemns “the racist violence and domestic terrorist attack” in Charlottesville. It also “rejects white nationalism, white supremacy, and neo-Nazism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
The statement also says the government will “use all resources available” to improve data collection of hate crimes and “address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.”
Representative Mark Warner (D-VA), one of the sponsors of the resolution had this message for the President,