Coalition of National Latino Leaders Condemn White Supremacist Violence Threat to Democracy

Aug 15, 2017
8:41 AM

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda released the following media release on Monday:

Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart News, speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, joins civil rights organizations, legislators, advocates, and cities nationwide in condemning the violence that ensued as a result of white supremacists’ actions this weekend. NHLA offers condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this violence and stands in solidarity with those who denounce and fight against the racism and bigotry that are driving acts of hate.

Further, NHLA urges President Trump to take formal actions beyond today’s belated naming of specific white supremacist organizations. There is no place for white supremacy in our government; thus, NHLA calls for the firing of Stephen Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and all White House staff with ties to white supremacist and extremist groups. Violence in Charlottesville and the subsequent lack of meaningful response by the president will not break the unity of those fighting against hate that manifests itself both in actions and in words.

“We first offer our condolences to the immediate families and friends of the victims of this hateful act of violence. Violence in any form will not repair the brokenness in our country and to see this tactic carried out by white supremacists is horrific. As the president of the United States failed to react immediately to explicitly condemn white supremacy, the Latino community, communities of color and advocates across the country will remain united to engage in peaceful resistance to fight for a just and inclusive society,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

“Donald Trump’s belated statement today fails to acknowledge that white nationalists do not belong in the White House or anywhere in the upper reaches of government,” said Thomas A. Saenz, NHLA’s Vice Chair and President and General Counsel of MALDEF. “The White House’s dog whistles – which we all hear and recognize even without racists celebrating them publicly online – must stop, and the best way to begin is by removing those who whistle to the dangerous tune of alt-right white nationalism.”

“This weekend’s violence against people who uphold the values of a democracy grounded in racial equality is a tragic reminder of how the words, actions, and silence of one man can ignite racial hatred. Make no mistake about this, the violence and the loss of life lies squarely with Donald Trump. His pretense of ignorance of white supremacists during his campaign, his hiring of white nationalists in the White House, and his intentional refusal to denounce white supremacist violence immediately after the events in Charlottesville nurtures and feeds into a segment of the country that yearns for a race war,” said Juan Cartagena, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Civil Rights Committee and President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “Our sympathies go to the family of those who died and those who are recovering from injury. Like the counter-protestors in Charlottesville, we must all stand against this evil and this hatred. We stand for inclusion, equality, and tolerance.”

“Instead of condemning the specific acts of violence caused by white nationalists, President Trump has chosen, over the course of his presidency, to discriminate against vulnerable populations, who in fact, are often the targets of white nationalists. For example, this administration has systematically enacted policies to strip away LGBT rights, pushed to ban Muslim communities, deport DREAMERS and support legislation to keep non-English speaking legal immigrants out of the country,” said Brent Wilkes, Treasurer of NHLA and CEO of LULAC.