The presidents of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, and the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP have issued the following joint statement regarding the senseless racist hate rally, violence and loss of life in Charlottesville, Virginia:
“As people can see now very clearly, not voting has consequences,” stated Janette Martin, president of the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP. "On numerous occasions the city of Charlottesville has spent thousands of dollars to support KKK rallies - and city merchants have expressed their dissatisfaction with the loss of revenue that occurs during these rallies." Martin added. "Violence did not have to be demonstrated in order to express freedom of speech. It appears that free speech was secondary to their main purpose which was to wreak havoc and violence in the community.They have been emboldened by the words and vocabulary of elected officials at the highest levels." Martin concluded, " we commend the people of faith here in Charlottesville for working hard to set a moral tone, and sacrificing themselves and their safety to drown out the message of hate especially as we have students and parents returning to the UVA campus for the start of the school year."
“The terrible incidence of violence in Charlottesville is a painful reminder of the blatant racism, unbridled lynchings and other violence against citizens of African descent that permeated the history of this country,” said Linda Thomas, president of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP. "This goes to the very core of the existence of the NAACP and our continuing struggle against forces of hate."
"White supremacists and today’s purveyors of hate should find no shadows in which to hide. Our forefathers shed blood so that in 2017, this type of violence would be a footnote of the past." Added Thomas, "We applaud our governor, Terry McAuliffe, whose statement today is in alignment with the NAACP mission. And we encourage the Governor to use the full force of his executive powers to eradicate race based barriers in all areas of life within the state. The Virginia State Conference will remain steadfast in our advocacy and activism as we push forward in our fight for legislative changes, expansion of voting rights and sound public policies that equally serve and protect all citizens within the commonwealth. And we will persist until we drive racism, and racist behavior from our midst."
“We call on President Trump to denounce this act as an act of terrorism and condemn the repeated rhetoric which has helped to fuel this climate of division and derision,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP. “ Our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in Charlottesville. We stand firm with our commitment to acknowledge our differences, to embrace them as the richness of the American mosaic and we’ll continue to lead the fight for the right to peaceably assemble.”