Home Race Video: At “Stop the Hate” Rally in Henrico County Last Night, Speakers...

Video: At “Stop the Hate” Rally in Henrico County Last Night, Speakers Urge Respect for American Diversity; Denounce Racism, White Supremacy, Xenophobia

Great job by Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, State Senators Ghazala Hashmi and Jennifer McClellan, etc. In contrast, Republican Del. John McGuire jarringly declared: "I heard the term 'white supremacy over and over. And I would caution you that you cannot fight racism with racism"

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See below for video of the the “Stop the Hate Rally” at Short Pump Park in Henrico last night. Among others, speakers included Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni; here’s a snippet from what he had to say:

There is another virus in our society and this virus is not new. It’s been around for over four centuries. It is called white supremacy. It is strengthened by stereotypes, falsehoods and conspiracy theories against the other. It’s rooted in racist misogynistic and  xenophobic ideology. And the only way to combat this virus is with love and truth. The truth is that white supremacy wants to drive a wedge between different communities of color to turn us against each other dividing and conquering exploiting and gaslighting.”

Also speaking last night was State Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, who said:

“One of my favorite scriptures is a scripture that talks about the diversity of humanity. It says, ‘o humanity, god created you into nations that you may know one another.’ That is probably one of the most profound and most important messages that I find in the Holy Quran. It is not a message about division. It doesn’t say god created you into nations that you may hate one another, that you may create war against each other, that you may find antagonism against each other. Rather it says oh humanity god created you into nations that you may know one another…this beautiful country that we have a country that’s made up of diverse nations gather together, peoples who come to live in this country as a united people, so that we may learn and know one another that we may use our profound differences to enrich our society to enrich our culture and that we may thrive as a result…This is our country, this is what it means…This is not a new history; it doesn’t begin in Atlanta. It didn’t begin with Donald Trump. It has been part of this country for generations. And for centuries Asian Americans have faced bigotry xenophobia and hatred for generations, despite the fact that they have been part of this American fabric for so many decadesWe are going to stand united, because hatred is not a part of our creed. We are a united country.  We are the United States of America.”

And State Sen. Jennifer McClellan:

As a black woman, whose own family and ancestors faced hatred and bigotry and terror, who were otherized, dehumanized, brutalized, I’m here to say with you enough is enough…We all, as John F. Kennedy said, breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s future. And yet from the beginning of time and certainly this country, hatred and division was used by some to gain and maintain power. And it still is, and it’s not new. And it won’t stop until we make it stop enough…Each of us must take a really hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves every day, ‘what am I doing in my own life? What am I doing in the organizations I lead, in the systems that I work in, to eradicate hatred and inequity – to make it worse or maintain the status quo? And until we each do that, we can pass all the laws we want, we can prosecute all the crimes we want, but hatred and division will continue to be used to divide us so that some can seek and maintain power. Let’s not let them do it.”

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) also spoke, saying:

“I hear the the pain and the loss and the concern in voices, I see it in the faces of those in the crowd, and I hear the calls for us to celebrate the diversity that has made our country so great, that has made this the country that people want to come and make their own. I see the flag swaying in the crowd, because it’s a symbol of the hope that so many families who wanted to make this country their own came to be a part of this country. And so whether you’re a newer American or have been here for generations and generations, I think it’s important that we affirm that the diversity of this country diversity of thought, diversity of religion, diversity of background…And there are some who don’t see that diversity, that beauty, that strength. And so I stand with the others denouncing the white supremacy that does not honor the greatness of this country and the greatness of the diversity that we are and that we have. We must all work for greater inclusion to celebrate the diversity…”

Very powerful words by Secretary Qarni, Senators Hashmi and McClellan, Rep. Spanberger, etc.. Great job!

And then there was Del. John McGuire, a hard-right Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates who ran for the VA07 GOP nomination in 2020 (finishing second behind Nick Freitas, 56%-44%), who had the following…uh, things to say (starting about 92:07):

“On behalf of the General Assembly and District 56 in the House of Delegates, we fully denounce all forms of racism and hate…evil does exist. And the only thing evil needs to prevail is for good men and women to sit by and do nothing. So what can we do, I would ask us to get involved in your community…As a Navy Seal, I always say if somebody saved your life on the battlefield, would you care if they were black or white? Would you care if they were tall or short or fast or slow? Everybody take a look at this American flag – this represents all of us. When people ask me if I’m a Democrat or Republican…I tell them I’m an American…I’m not going to see you as a Democrat or Republican if you have a good idea…A young woman came up to me and said, ‘Why do we have to have African-Americans? Why do we have to have Asian-Americans? Why do we have to have Irish-Americans? Why can’t we just have Americans?’ She even said ‘Didn’t Martin Luther King say that he looks to the day where we’re judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin?’ We do live in the greatest country in the history of man, and we are not perfect, but we get better and better. And today I heard the term ‘white supremacy over and over. And I would caution you that you cannot fight racism with racism and you cannot fight hate with hate. I think the answer is love. And I think I speak on behalf of everyone here that can hear me today that I love our country, that I love Virginia, and I love you. God bless America.”

Wait, what? Del. McGuire is arguing that using the term “white supremacy” is itself “fight[ing] racism with racism…hate with hate?” Also, what is wrong with having Irish-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc? Jarring comments by McGuire, following highly appropriate and spot-on comments by the other speakers…

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