WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, issued the following statement on the upcoming one-year anniversary of the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Va., and the planned marches in Washington, DC and elsewhere this weekend.
“As we reflect on the events that transpired one year ago, we honor the memories and lives of those killed during extremist, racist, and xenophobic rallies in Charlottesville. In an act of domestic terrorism, a young woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 other individuals were injured when a neo-Nazi sympathizer drove his vehicle into a peaceful crowd of counter-protesters. In addition, two Virginia State Police officers, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, died in a helicopter crash as they patrolled the events occurring below them.
“Racism, hate, bigotry, anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny and xenophobia are not welcome in America. Attempts to divide America will not succeed. I am heartened to see that individuals from so many different faiths, creeds, and backgrounds are planning to come together to advocate for peace, love, compassion, healing, and progress this weekend. I thank the law enforcement and first responders working to protect our First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.
“I will never forget how President Trump used his bully pulpit one year ago to further divide our nation and to show empathy for white supremacists. In the absence of moral leadership from The White House, I urge Marylanders to use this moment to focus on love, hope, compassion and opportunity. This weekend especially, I encourage all to celebrate and teach the next generation about the legacy of Marylanders like Thurgood Marshall, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass and their struggles to help our nation form a more perfect union, establish justice, and secure the blessings of liberty as promised by our Constitution. The deadly violence that occurred one year ago in Charlottesville must never be permitted to happen again. I strongly condemn all acts of intolerance and remain certain that the moral arc of history, although long, bends towards justice. What is good and just in America is stronger than hate and will prevail.”