East Hampton & Suffolk ABTFs Weigh In On Charlottesville Violence; Zeldin Backs President’s Assertions

In the wake of Donald Trump’s shocking equivocation Tuesday of hate groups and protesters protesting the hate groups in Charlotesville, Va., the East Hampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force weighed in Wednesday with the following statement:

The East Hampton Anti-Bias Task Force agrees with the recent “Joint Statement on the Charlottesville Violence” written by The Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission and the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, Inc. (below)

Additionally, we as residents of the Town of East Hampton believe that the attack in Charlottesville by White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis is an attack on us all. No matter your political party, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, or familial status, robbing our community of its sense of security and well-being is a domestic act of terrorism and is no less a threat then if it were performed by any hostile force, foreign or domestic.

We thank Supervisor Larry Cantwell who spoke to this issue on behalf of the entire Town Board at Tuesday’s work session with strong words that what happened in Charlottesville will not be tolerated here.

East Hampton is a welcoming community and we welcome all of good will to enjoy, in safety, this very special place.

Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous quote:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

County message follows:

Monday, August 14, 2017

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

The Center for Social Justice & Human Understanding, Inc., the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, and the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force stand together with all people of good will to denounce the racist and hate-filled actions and words witnessed this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. We urge our Suffolk County community and our nation to stand strong against the modern day rising of White Nationalist organizations and say: No to Hate!!!

If you have ever wondered what you would have done in history during times of increased racism, hatred, and ultimately persecution, all the residents of our county now have the opportunity to do something. When radical “nationalists” rallied behind Adolf Hitler and supported the systematic extermination of over six million Jews and others deemed undeserving to exist, much of the world stood silent. From the Holocaust, harsh lessons were learned about the impact of bystanders and up- standers. We continue to learn the lesson of silence every day as we still witness genocides throughout the world.

It is time to speak out and stand tall. Join the following organizations as they raise their voices to intolerance and say: Never Again! Not here and not anywhere!

We offer our condolences to the families of Heather Heyer, Virginia Troopers, Berke Bates and Lt. H. Jay Cullen and extend our prayers to them and all those injured.

In Solidarity,

The Center for Social Justice & Human Understanding, Inc.
The Suffolk County Human Rights Commission
The Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

In Solidarity,

The Center for Social Justice & Human Understanding, Inc. The Suffolk County Human Rights Commission
The Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force

 

East End Congressman Lee Zeldin, a longtime supporter of the president, who is Jewish, weighed in Tuesday evening on Facebook with the following statement echoing the president’s sentiment about the “hard left” at the protest being ‘just as violent’ as the alt-right:

Anyone associating themselves with the KKK and Nazism is associating themselves with hatred, bigotry, racism, intolerance and a tremendously inhumane past filled with horrible evil. This is one of the extremes that exist in our society that has a long history of trying to tear us apart. Their violent acts inspired by deep hatred are disgusting, un-American, and unwelcome in our great nation. President Trump has condemned them repeatedly.

Antifa bused in criminals with bats and pepper spray for the purpose of committing acts of violence targeting anyone who was part of the protest against Charlottesville bringing down the statue of Robert E. Lee, whether associated with the KKK or Nazism or neither. In the words of New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, the “hard left” was just at violent at the protest as the “alt right”.

These two sides are not equal. They are different. I would add though that it is not right to suggest that President Trump is wrong for acknowledging the fact that criminals on both sides showed up for the purpose of being violent. That particular observation is completely true.

There is an element of our country that has pledged to resist, oppose, and obstruct this President entirely on absolutely everything and anything and to this population the President cannot say or do absolutely anything at all that they won’t criticize as long as he is in the office he was elected to serve in last November.

I’m also looking forward to better understanding the reasoning for allowing those individuals on both sides with bats and other weapons looking for a physical fight to be able to so easily confront each other violently instead of being placed in different locations.

The violence we all witnessed is absolutely not the right way to disagree with each other and anyone participating in the violence should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and most importantly, the domestic terrorist who murdered Heather Heyer and injured many others.

We can and must do more to unite as a nation. There must be zero tolerance whatsoever for the extremes that try to tear us all apart. Patriotic Americans of all walks of life must come together and bridge the divides between all who don’t associate with either extreme for the sake of our country and our people.

East End Beacon

The East End Beacon is your guide to social and environmental issues, arts & culture on the East End of Long Island.

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