FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Natalie Higgins, 978-602-3772
August 18, 2017
Legislature Formally Condemns Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Groups
Joins the Baker Administration in pledging to promote equality, justice and tolerance
(BOSTON) – Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to support a resolution that unequivocally denounces white nationalism and neo-Nazism, and condemns the hatred, bigotry and violence these groups consistently espouse. The resolution will be transmitted to the Mayor of Charlottesville, Governor of Virginia and President of the United States.
In highlighting Massachusetts’ historic role in promoting civil rights and justice, the resolution emphasized that the values of these groups stand in irreconcilable conflict with the founding principles of both the Commonwealth and the nation. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Baker to enact this resolution to stand against the bigotry and racism on display earlier this month,” said Higgins. “We have made a lot of progress with and since civil rights movement of the 1960s, but events like Charlottesville show us how much more work there is to do. Our communities cannot be silent against hate, and we will not lose the progress we have made.”
“I’m proud to sign this joint resolution on behalf of the House to clearly and unambiguously condemn neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups at work in Charlottesville,” said Speaker DeLeo. “I’m grateful to Leader Rushing, Chairwoman Benson and the members of the House for pushing for this important action. Massachusetts residents can be reassured that on matters like this, Governor Baker, Senate President Rosenberg and I, and our respective institutions, stand shoulder to shoulder in opposing violent hatred and intolerance.”
“I am proud that the Commonwealth came together to denounce the violence in Charlottesville and condemn the hateful ideologies of white supremacists and neo-Nazis,” said Chairwoman Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg). “I was honored to propose this resolution, and I thank Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Rosenberg and Governor Baker for their leadership on this issue.”
“It is so important that the citizens and residents of Massachusetts know that their government condemns the detestable messages of hate that are abroad in this our nation,” said Assistant Majority Leader Byron Rushing (D-Boston). “The tragic events that took place on August 11 and 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, remind us again that what we take for granted and what we work together to attain, is a threat to the narrow ideology of too many. We adopted these words today and heard them read by our leaders. Now, I hope, as many as possible will read them and find ways, where they live and work, to strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies.”
Following the signing of the resolution, legislators joined Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito in a moment of silence for the Charlottesville victims. The legislation, which was filed in the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, states that “intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic and religious communities.” It urges law enforcement agencies and elected officials to condemn white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, vigorously pursue justice in response to hate-fueled violence and work to ensure the protection of marginalized and targeted communities.