I deeply appreciate my state Senator and Delegate–and many others–declining to attend tomorrow’s special 400th anniversary commemorative session of the General Assembly, where the President will be speaking. While under normal circumstances, it should be a great honor to have a US President address our state legislature, there is nothing normal about this President or this moment.
Amid the daily onslaught of insults, racist tweets and speeches, assaults on immigrant families and on the LGBTQ community, and other atrocities committed by this administration, we can never, ever allow ourselves to forget that this is not normal. The increase in hate crimes in Virginia, Nazis marching in Charlottesville, the KKK recruiting in broad daylight, swastika graffiti on community centers and school playgrounds, Muslim political candidates receiving death threats, none of this is normal.
Thank you for standing with and listening to the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, who represent some of the groups that are most harmed by the words and actions of this President. In particular, they note “his repeated attacks on Black legislators and comments about Black communities makes him ill-suited to honor and commemorate such a monumental period in history.” In the face of this barrage of attacks on so many different groups of people, we are stronger when we stick together, when we fight for the rights and respect of all.
Thank you for not normalizing or legitimizing this President. Thank you for not giving an audience to the lies he will undoubtedly spew. Thank you for not allowing him to use you as props to prove his popularity. Thank you for denying him the honor and validation of your time and attention.
No matter how the President or the media or the Virginia GOP try to spin this, we will know that you took a stand. “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Thank you for your stand.