State leaders condemn white nationalism, neo-Nazism
Beacon Hill’s three most influential figures, backed by a crowd of lawmakers from both parties, delivered a resolution Thursday denouncing white nationalism and neo-Nazism, issuing a bipartisan response to last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va.
“We strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis,” read the Legislature’s resolution.
Republican Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Democratic Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo took turns reading from the text. They said copies would be sent to Mayor Mike Signer of Charlottesville, Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, and President Trump.
The resolution, accompanied by a similarly phrased proclamation signed by Baker, comes two days before Boston Common is scheduled to host a “free speech” rally that some local leaders worry could lead to strife similar to what happened in Virginia. Three people died as counterprotesters clashed with white nationalists.
Baker led a moment of silence for those who died. “The House and the Senate and the administration have had several conversations about how we might send a message to the people of Massachusetts and to the folks in Charlottesville, Va., and to the folks in D.C. about how we feel about the events that took place over the previous weekend there,” Baker said.
“We have to speak out, and there’s no bad time to speak out against hate and bigotry and prejudice in this country, and if not now, then when?” Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, said to reporters after the signing.
“Everybody should be doing this. I hope that states are doing this all over the country,” said assistant House majority leader Byron Rushing, a Boston Democrat. “I’m sorry that this is so tied to the tragic events of last weekend, but it’s important that we regularly say this, so that people understand that this is the way that most people think,” Rushing added.
According to the House clerk’s office, 137 of the House’s 158 members signed the resolution, which was circulated via e-mail late Wednesday night. Rosenberg’s office said all the senators added their names.