Governor Wolf, Advisory Commissions Stand United Against Hate

August 14, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and his advisory commissions on African American Affairs, Asian Pacific American Affairs, and Latino Affairs, and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women stand united in condemning the hatred and bigotry of white supremacists demonstrated in the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally this past weekend. Below is Governor Wolf’s statement:

Let’s be clear: white nationalists are racists and the hateful beliefs that these groups espouse are disgusting. In America, no one group is supreme – but rather we are equal – no matter our race, gender or religion.

The white supremacy rally in Charlottesville does not reflect the values we hold as Pennsylvanians or as Americans. America will always be a nation built by people of diverse backgrounds united by shared rights and freedoms – and we are stronger for it.

This weekend in Virginia, we saw a truly terrible scene. I stand united with elected officials across the country and condemn these white supremacist groups that gathered in Charlottesville.

I spoke earlier with Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe to offer our full support.

Further, the violence and act of terror, including the death of a young woman and injuries to peaceful protesters, is heartbreaking.

Our thoughts are with these victims and the two Virginia State Police officers who lost their lives trying to protect others.
Moments like these demand that we reaffirm our values.

We must speak out strongly for true American values of justice, fairness, and compassion and lead with our actions to reject the groups that gathered in Charlottesville this weekend.

Pennsylvania has a long history of fighting oppression and promoting inclusion. Our history defines the character of America.

William Penn founded our commonwealth as a refuge for religious persecution.

Pennsylvania is where the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified and where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

Most importantly, thousands of Pennsylvanians enlisted to fight the Confederacy and then the Nazis and many gave their lives to fight hatred and values counter to the fabric of America.

It is just as important now for us to stand in solidarity against division, bigotry, and inequality.

The members of Governor Tom Wolf’s advisory commissions and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women represent communities that know all too well the experience of oppression and racism – from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to Jim Crow laws, to women not having the right to own property or to vote, to Japanese incarceration during WWII, to discrimination faced by our LGBTQ+ communities, to our Muslim communities experiencing Islamophobia and our immigrant and refugee communities experiencing xenophobia and discrimination, our nation has had more than its share of racism and oppression. But, our differences are our strengths as a country and a commonwealth, and have made Pennsylvania a desirable place for people from all walks of life to live and work. Our diverse views, cultures, religions, and shared life experiences contribute to the creation of this melting pot we call home.

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