As has become commonplace over the last year, the news cycle over the past week has been dominated by congressional incompetency, presidential degeneration, or some combination thereof. Just as the Republican-dominated Congress continues to operate (or not operate) in a state of crisis, we find ourselves forgetting one unforgivable comment by the president in favor of another on a weekly basis.
At the very same time, however, some of our representatives in Washington remain eerily silent. Regardless of if the current subject matter has nothing to do with the current administration.
Two weeks ago, the president made his “s***hole” comments about nations inhabited by mostly people of color. Last week, the KKK decided to celebrate MLK Jr. Day by spreading propaganda in Fredricksburg, Spotsylvania, and Leesburg. In both cases, Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA01) has remained completely silent. History dictated his silence or defense of the president’s words, but there is nothing that can be said about his complete lack of addressing his constituents being given hateful, bigoted flyers.
Constituents have called his offices as well, and received no response in either case of racism. You heard that right: we have a Virginia congressman who has no qualms remaining silent in the face of overt racism either by the president or by actual Klansmen.
In response, President of the Youth Initiative for National Action (YINA) Langston Carter has drafted a letter condemning Wittman’s silence and asking him to condemn both the remarks of the president and the canvassing done by the KKK. The letter will be delivered to Wittman’s office by fax and email. You can find the full letter, which has been signed by over one-hundred 1st Congressional District constituents, and community leaders, below:
To the office of Congressman Rob Wittman:
Virginia’s First Congressional District embodies what makes America great. We are a diverse community of many different races and religions, people of different cultures and backgrounds. It is that diversity that has been woven into our history from its inception and, from it, we gather a unique strength.
On Thursday, January 11th, President Trump made a comment in the Oval Office referring to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries”. Not only has that comment stirred further distrust around the world, but it has also brought tension and unrest closer to home. We are a nation of immigrants, and Virginia’s First Congressional District is no exception to that. President Trump’s comments were offensive to many residents of Virginia’s First District. They follow a pattern that has emerged from the White House, including the President’s repeated assertion that there were “good people” among the white supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville in August.
This pattern has empowered and encouraged hate groups around the country, and on Monday, January 15th, fliers containing Ku Klux Klan propaganda were found in the City of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County.
Congressman Wittman has failed to acknowledge either incident.
Due to Congressman Wittman’s neglect of his constituency, we have come together to condemn his refusal to denounce the hateful words of President Trump and his silence on the matter of the Ku Klux Klan pamphlets found in Fredericksburg on the morning of Martin Luther King Day. Given the rise in unconcealed, aggressive white supremacy, it is the responsibility of our elected officials to step up and take a strong, undeniable stand against every act of bigotry, whether it comes from a single flier or the Oval Office. It is the right of every voter and every citizen to know where their elected officials stand on these issues.
We, the undersigned, stand against hate. We do not hesitate to denounce the hatred and racism expressed by the president as well as residents of our community, and we demand that our leadership do the same.