NEW YORK, NY, Aug. 13, 2017 – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemns the violence yesterday surrounding the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the hatred on display from a range of white supremacist groups. ADL has reported extensively on right-wing extremism and the rise of the alt-right.
ADL supports the response from many elected officials, public figures and community leaders and welcomes President Trump’s condemnation of hate and violence. However, the League said the president must clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms.
ADL has been tracking extremism in the United States and yesterday’s horrific killing and violence by the suspect, who has ties to white supremacist ideology, could be the latest in a long string of murders tied to right wing extremism and domestic terrorism.
ADL calls on the authorities to aggressively investigate this incident as a domestic act of terror and swiftly bring to justice the individual responsible for the death of one citizen and the injuries of dozens more at yesterday’s rally.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
The gathering of extreme hate yesterday in Charlottesville is something we have not seen in at least a decade and it continues a troubling pattern: these extremists are emboldened and are making every effort to exploit their visibility for their hateful cause.
Now is the time for our leadership across the board to name the hate.
This is a moment that demands moral leadership. President Trump should acknowledge that this is not a matter of equivalence between two sides with similar gripes. There is no rationalizing white supremacy and no room for this vile bigotry. It is un-American and it needs to be condemned without hesitation.
We call on the White House to terminate all staff with any ties to these extremists. There is no rationale for employing people who excuse hateful rhetoric and ugly incitement. They do not serve the values embodied in our Constitution nor the interests of the American people.
We expected this to be the largest white supremacist gathering in the last decade. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the most violent as well. ADL has been sounding the alarm about domestic terrorism and hate crimes in America. This consistent threat requires consistent resources.
It is long overdue for the President to develop a plan of action to combat white supremacy and all forms of hate, including investing funds in countering violent extremism from all ideological corners. We stand ready to partner in this effort. Without a clear denunciation and plan of action, these bigots are only emboldened.
According to ADL’s Center on Extremism, the Charlottesville rally shows the degree to which white supremacists feel emboldened by the current political climate. ADL has documented a spike in the number of white supremacists recruiting on college campuses and a series of white supremacist rallies.
On Saturday, ADL released an analysis of the wide variety of white supremacists who attended the rally giving voice to bigoted, racist, anti-Semitic and hateful sentiments. Attendees included members of white power groups and neo-Nazi organizations, racist skinhead groups, Ku Klux Klan factions and white nationalist organizations such as the Vanguard America and Identity Evropa, the League of the South, the National Socialist Movement, the Traditionalist Workers Party, and the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights.
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias curricula for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all. Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_National