We are deeply saddened about the white supremacist-fueled violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. It was an act of domestic terrorism, plain and simple.
On Saturday, Heather Heyer was murdered on the streets of Charlottesville when a man who identified with neo-Nazis used his vehicle as a weapon. Many others were injured, and people still remain hospitalized. When we speak of terrorism as a threat to our nation, we must include the threat of white supremacist domestic terrorism. And we must call it by its name.
Friday and Saturday it was one side that took to the streets and the campus of the University of Virginia wielding torches and chanting hateful words. It was one side that called for white supremacy over all other races. It was one side that proclaimed anti-Semitic slurs. It was one side that yelled actual Nazi slogans. It was one side that targeted protestors carrying Black Lives Matter signs and ran them down with a car. It was one side that rained blessings on the president for not condemning the white supremacist domestic terrorists. And it was one side that said white supremacists will “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” and reminded the president of their role in electing him.
Some of our lawmakers have made strong statements condemning the white supremacist terrorism, while others have cowered behind the ambiguous, “gotta hear both sides” language of our president. There is one side. They need to make that absolutely, completely clear. So far it’s a mixed bag.
We’re keeping track of lawmakers’ statements here.
Sen. Ted Cruz was the first to respond, and later, followed up with the most forceful language of any of our representatives.
I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism. pic.twitter.com/AwJLsfUEHl
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 13, 2017
Compare to Sen. John Cornyn, who as of this writing was the last to respond, and with one of the weakest statements:
No place for the bigotry & hate-filled violence in #Charlottesville. These actions should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) August 13, 2017
Really? These actions should be condemned? But you’re not actually condemning them?
This week we need to hold our representatives accountable for their responses to the violent acts of white supremacist domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. This is not the time for ambiguity; there is a clear choice to be made between right and wrong. Check to see what your representatives are saying, and then call them with either praise or condemnation. Some good rules of thumb are:
- Label the violence “domestic terrorism”
- Call the perpetrators “white supremacists”
Lawmakers should not:
- Be ambiguous
- Leave any room for white supremacists to interpret their statement as tacit approval.
Examples of ambiguity:
“We must stand against all who try to divide us with hatred and bigotry.” (Dan Patrick)
“There is no place for hate in this country” (Roger Williams)
“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” (Donald Trump)
While you are calling, it’s a good time to ask your GOP reps: “Do you still support Donald Trump, who has refused, repeatedly, to condemn the white supremacists who support him?”
Monday, August 14
7:30 p.m. Indivisible Project’s livestream on DACA
The Obama-era program Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows some undocumented immigrants (DREAMers) to apply for temporary work permits, Social Security numbers and protection from deportation, is very much under threat. We need to fight back to prevent the needless deportation of people who came to the US as children.
The Indivisible Project has great resources on DACA, and legislation that you should call your MoCs about. They are also doing a Facebook Live at 7:30 to provide more detail.
Tuesday, August 15
3 p.m. Defend DACA rally outside Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office
Hosted by United We Dream at 209 W 14th St.
From the organizers:
If far-right Republicans get their way, over one million immigrants could be deported. Texas Attorney General Paxton and others are pressuring President Trump to end the immigration protections of DACA and TPS that millions of us rely on the live, work, and study here.
But here’s the thing: We are stronger and we outnumber them. The majority of Americans don’t want to see young immigrants deported. Far-right Republicans want the public to believe lies and falsehoods about immigrant youth.
Every story of a young immigrant living, working, and thriving here is a weapon we will use to poke holes in their lies. That’s why, on August 15th, we’re taking to the streets — and to the halls of Congress — to speak our truth.
Wednesday, August 16
All day. Tell Your MoCs to Stand Up for Childhood Arrivals and Co-Sponsor S.1615 and H.R. 3591
From the Indivisible Project:
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT DACAMENTED YOUTH?
Like so many other issues, Congress has the power to remedy this situation. Congress doesn’t have to—and should not—sit on the sidelines. Congress can pass legislation protecting these immigrant youth.
- Call your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the bipartisan Durbin-Graham “DREAM Act” (S. 1615) to create a legislative fix to the predicament of these young Americans, and take their future out of Trump’s hands.
- Call your House Representative and tell her/him to co-sponsor Rep. Gutierrez’s American Hope Act (H.R. 3591) give those with DACA and others who arrived in the United States as children a path to permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.
7 p.m. Vigil for Charlottesville Against Racism and Hate
From the organizers: Free Souls Church & St. Paul AME are hosting a prayer vigil for Charlottesville this Wednesday, August 16 @ 7 pm. at St. Paul AME in RR, 407 N. Sheppard St. We will have spiritual readings/perspectives, small group sharing, music, and a community prayer closing with candle lighting. Contact Rev. Chuck Freeman – email@example.com.
Thursday, August 17
8 p.m. Texas Solidarity Singalong in the Capitol Rotunda
From the organizers: “Texas Solidarity Sing Along is leaderless, and there is no official spokesperson. We are not an organization.We sing songs of resistance every Thursday in solidarity with all states.”
Friday, August 18
Pride Week Begins in Austin.
Check out https://www.austinpride.org/ for events kicking off this weekend.
Mark your calendar for August 26!
8 p.m. Austin Pride Parade
From the organizers:
The largest event of Austin PRIDE Week, the PRIDE Parade keeps getting bigger and better with last year’s event drawing record numbers of parade participants and spectators to the streets of downtown Austin!! Over 120+ entries, floats, special live performances & more!
The Parade features two emcee stages, one on Congress Ave. at the Paramount/Stephen F. Austin and one on the roof top of Rain on 4th. Booby Cook returns to emcee from the roof top of Rain.
The Parade kicks off at 8pm from the Capitol, proceeds down Congress and then marches through the Warehouse District on 4th Street/Bettie Naylor to Republic Square Park. Make sure you head over directly from the Festival to stake out the best viewing area!