US Congress urges Trump to condemn white supremacists

13 September, 2017, 08:56 | Author: Lula Armstrong
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The United States Congress has unanimously passed a resolution condemning neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacists, and urging President Donald Trump to address hate groups after last month's deadly racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The House on 12 September unanimously approved a bipartisan joint resolution from Virginia lawmakers, and presented the resolution for Trump's signature, in an effort to secure a firmer denunciation of racist extremist, by the President.

The Senate has approved a resolution condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups following a white-nationalist rally in Virginia that descended into deadly violence.

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It also urges the president and his administration "to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy, and use all resources available to the president and the president's Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States". On Aug. 12, Trump denounced hatred and violence "on many sides", a comment that drew sharp criticism from across the political spectrum for not condemning white nationalists. The resolution also highlighted the heroism of Virginia State Police Troopers Berke Bates and Lt. Jay Cullen, who died in a helicopter crash while patrolling the events. If adopted by both chambers, the resolution would go to the president. One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and several people were wounded when a suspected white nationalist crashed his auto into anti-racist demonstrators.

It also calls on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to work with other federal officials to thoroughly investigate acts of violence and intimidation committed by white supremacist groups, and to "improve the reporting of hate crimes" and the federal collection of data on such incidents.

[Democratic Representative Gerald] Connolly suggested adding that [Heather] Heyer was "a victim of domestic terrorism" who lost her life while "protesting against hate groups", according to language reviewed by The Post.

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White nationalists had gathered in Charlottesville to protest against the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, who led the pro-slavery Confederacy's army during the US Civil War.

"I hope this bipartisan action will help heal the wounds left in the aftermath of this tragedy and send a clear message to those that seek to divide our country that there is no place for hate and violence", said House Democrat Gerry Connelly. This would commit Trump to the resolution's sentiments. But as we learned last month, the president's immediate and unequivocal condemnation of racist groups is no longer a given.

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