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US Congress resolution slams white supremacists
A joint resolution unanimously adopted by the US Congress has condemned white supremacists and other neo-Nazi hate groups against the backdrop of last month’s racial violence in Charlottesville and urged President Donald Trump to denounce and deal firmly with such groups.
In the interest of bipartisan support, the Democratic sponsors of the resolution steered clear of slamming Trump himself for his initial ambiguous response to the Charlottesville episode as he sought to slam both the white supremacists and the liberal counter-protesters for the violence.
A counter-protester was killed and 19 others were injured in the August 12 violence, while two Virginia State troopers
died when their helicopter crashed while monitoring the violence that swept through the normally quiet college town.
There was no immediate word from the White House on whether Trump would sign the otherwise non-binding measure and, if so, how soon. Trump has 10 days to sign or veto the measure.
“We hope that President Trump will move quickly to sign this resolution and commit his Administration to address the rise of hate groups,” said Virginia’s Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, who sponsored the resolution.
The measure, co-sponsored by 57 Senators, both Democratic and Republican, was passed by the Senate on Monday. A companion resolution with identical language was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Rejecting white nationalism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to American values, the resolution urges Trump and his administration to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy”.
Further, it calls upon the President and his Cabinet to “use all resources available…to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States”.
It also demands a thorough investigation into “all acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and associated groups in order to determine if any criminal laws have been violated and to prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence”.
The resolution that specifically described the Charlottesville episode as a “domestic terrorist attack” has the support of a host of civil rights groups, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP Legal Defence Fund.
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