In response to today’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the violent attack on counter-protestors, and President Donald Trump’s remarks on the incident, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement.
“Today’s events are horrifying, heartbreaking and infuriating. When Donald Trump was elected president, many of us feared that his election would embolden radical extremists and white supremacists. Today shows that those concerns were entirely justified. Moreover, the President’s refusal to clearly and emphatically denounce a group of Nazis and white supremacists underscores his longstanding willingness to exploit the Right’s most hateful impulses for political gain—as well as the GOP’s willingness to abide Trump’s tactics of hate in order to push its own ideological agenda.
“Elected officials should make clear in no uncertain terms that they condemn the hate and racism of the ‘Unite the Right’ rally and its leaders, and they won’t associate with those who do otherwise.
“Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s terror attack, as well as with their families and loved ones. I’m grateful for the activists of every race and creed who are standing up for their values every day in nonviolent protest in Charlottesville and across the country. They, not those who spew bigotry and hatred, represent the true American way.”
As part of its mission to expose and counter the agenda of the far Right, People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch has written extensively about far right movements including the so-called Alt-Right. You can read Right Wing Watch’s backgrounder on the “Unite the Right” rally here.
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.