As tragic as the Charlottesville riots were, President Donald Trump failed to condemn the hate groups responsible for the violent outbreak which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer and injuries to many others. He was widely criticized by the media, cabinet members, lawmakers, activists, and the general public at-large. In response to this epic fail, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution that easily passed through the Senate. It calls on Trump to right this wrong immediately.
Passed on Sept. 12, one month after the shameful display in Virginia, the joint resolution is now awaiting Trump’s signature. The measure was spearheaded by GOP Rep. Tom Garrett and it sends a powerful message to the Trump administration–hate groups have no place in America. This is one issue that Democrats and Republicans agree with wholeheartedly.
— Tom Garrett (@RepTomGarrett) September 13, 2017
“Tonight, the House of representatives spoke in one unified voice to unequivocally condemn the shameful and hate-filled acts of violence carried out by the KKK (Ku Klux Klan), white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) September 12, 2017
Congress wants Trump to condemn hate groups as well as the growing prevalence of extremists who support anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and White supremacy. The resolution also urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate cases of racially-based violence and intimidation by these groups.
Following what Congress called a “domestic terrorist attack,” Trump’s references to some members of these groups as “very fine people” ran many of his allies away in droves. Ironically, he has managed to unite the very divided House and Senate–at least for now. The new measure implores the Trump administration to take an active and leadership role in the fight against racism and “growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.”
Will Trump Sign It?
Now whether or not Trump bows to the pressure of national lawmakers remains to be seen. But Se. Tim Scott, a Black man and rising star in the Republican Party is set to meet with Trump on Weds. to discuss his response to Charlottesville. Scott said then that spending time with some Black people would do Trump a world of good.
“If the President wants to have a better understanding and appreciation for what he should do next (following Charlottesville), he needs to hear something from folks who have gone through this painful history,” Scott said. “Without that personal connection to the painful past, it will be hard for him to regain that moral authority, from my perspective.”
Let’s see if it works.