Thank you to everyone who attended our impromptu Rally For Solidarity With Charlottesville on Sunday. We had a good sized crowd turn out (46 people, by my count) with about 12 hours notice – so thank you for taking time out of your busy weekend to send a little love to our friends in C'ville.
Heather Heyer, the young woman who died in Saturday's senseless terrorist attack, wrote on her Facebook page that, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
That could describe our Senators, who both released mealy-mouthed statements this weekend that shame them and us in their inadequacy. Neither Senator Cassidy nor Senator Kennedy expressed condolences to families of the three people that died this weekend, nor well wishes to the 19 people injured. Nor did they call the white supremacists for what they were, or call this tragedy for what it was: a terrorist attack. Both men, however, made very sure we all knew that Nazis have a 1st amendment right to assembly.
On his Facebook wall, his only public statement on the matter, Kennedy wrote:
In America, racists have the right to speak freely and nonviolently about their racist views, but I also have the right to freely and nonviolently condemn their views. And I do.
On his Twitter page, his only public statement on the matter, Cassidy wrote:
We reject those who preach hate. However reprehensible their views, the groups that protested today in Charlottesville have a constitutional right to free speech and assembly; this does not include and does not excuse violence, which is to be condemned in no uncertain terms. We know from history that those who preach hate against some expand it to many, eventually including anyone who disagrees with their hate. We are first children of God, formed in His image and next fellow Americans, regardless of race, religion or creed.
This just isn't good enough. We need public officials who have the baseline courage to publicly denounce white supremacy and neo-Nazis.
In contrast, our Representative Steve Scalise issued a very strongly-worded statement condemning the attack:
I'm disgusted by the violence and killing that took place in Charlottesville, and by the vile white supremacist bigotry that inspired it. There must be no tolerance for racism in our nation, and we must work together as Americans and human beings to defeat white supremacy and all forms of hatred. My prayers are with the loved ones of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates who tragically died as a result of this evil. May they rest in peace.
There's no reason whatsoever our Senators shouldn't be condemning hate and violence with equally strong, equally explicit language. Time to pick up the phone.
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, AND Rep. Scalise
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489
Representative Steve Scalise (LA-01): DC OFFICE: (202) 225-3015 and METAIRIE OFFICE (504) 837-1259
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
FOR SENATORS CASSIDY AND KENNEDY:
I'm calling today to express my disappointment in the Senator's public statement on the terrorist attack in Charlottesville this weekend. The Senator's statement did not denounce white supremacy nor neo-nazism, nor did it express condolences to the families of the three people who died or well-wishes to those injured. I demand that the Senator publicly call this terrorist attack for what it is and condemn the white supremacy that led to it.
I also want the Senator to publicly demand that President Trump also condemn white supremacy, and call for the resignations of white supremacists in his administration, including Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller.
FOR REPRESENTATIVE SCALISE:
I'm calling today to thank Representative Scalise for his unequivocal statement condemning white supremacy and the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. I agree with Representative Scalise that there must be no tolerance for racism in this country.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.