DETROIT (WWJ) – Lawmakers all around the county joining together to condemn the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Saturday.
The rally in Virginia, called ‘Unite the Right,’ included white supremacists, groups of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and other ‘alt-right’ groups who demonstrated in the area and counter-protesters and groups supporting ‘Black Lives Matter’ who clashed during the day.
The ensuing violence led Governor Terry McAuliffe to proclaim a state of emergency. “I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protester have brought our state over the past 24 hours.”
A few hours after violent encounters between the two groups, a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally. On Sunday, the death toll stood at three with at least 26 sent to hospitals.
Speaking live on Newsradio 950, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says leaders can only do so much and preventing these acts of violence starts in the communities:
“We’ve got to do something about this but the discussion isn’t going to come top – down,” says Dingell. “The discussion in going to come in our schools, it’s going to come in our churches, it’s going to come in our community level, where we take the time to understand each other.”
“I think we need to be really clear; the fear, the hatred in racism, that was brought into Charlottesville yesterday – has no place in America. I am very clear that we’ve got to take time to understand people’s perspective – we’ve got to be very careful — you know I get very upset when people call my Downriver constituents racist because they voted for Donald Trump – they voted for him for a variety of reasons — and we can’t take paint brushes and label everybody.”
Former Congressman, and husband of Debbie Dingell, John Dingell had strong words on Twitter – calling to
White nationalist David Duke, a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, attended the rally. He told the Indianapolis Star, “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Bishop Don Kreiss with the Southeast Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says there is a way forward:
“People of faith — of every faith and tradition and none — we need to figure out the things we hold in common that are much stronger than the things that would divid us — we need to figure out that we can disagree without having to go into violence and denying even the humanity of someone we disagree,” he said.
The Bishop says that America’s racial history remains an issue that the country needs to confront.
“I think this is an outgrowth of a deep sense of dispare — dispare that is turned outward to violence, intolerence, hatred and we’re living in a time and a climate where lots of folks feel comfortable bringing those things out in public and that is an explosive mixture.”
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser says the violence that broke out in Charlottesville “meets the definition of terrorism.”
The incident was captured on video — the man suspected of ramming a car into a crowd of counter demonstrators was facing multiple charges on Sunday morning, including second-degree murder.
Video of the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, shows the car appearing to plow deliberately at a high rate of speed over multiple counter-protesters at the rally.
Heather D. Heyer, 32, a Charlottesville resident who police say was crossing the road at the time, died of her injuries after being rushed to the hospital.
A spokesperson for University of Virginia Medical Center said early Sunday morning that the hospital was still treating five victims of the incident in critical condition, four in serious and another ten in fair or good condition.
On Saturday night, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced that a civil rights investigation had been opened into the vehicular death allegedly caused by James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio.