Lawmakers denounce hatred in wake of Charlottesville rally - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawmakers denounce hatred in wake of Charlottesville rally

(AP Photo/Steve Helber). White nationalist demonstrators walk into Lee park surrounded by counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered... (AP Photo/Steve Helber). White nationalist demonstrators walk into Lee park surrounded by counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered...
(WMC) -

As the nation reacts in shock to violence and unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, many are coming forward to speak out against racism and bigotry that was portrayed during the white supremacist rally on Saturday.

Mid-South senators issued statements condemning white supremacy, citing the work that has been done across the nation to end such atrocities.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) had the following statement:

"Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, like any racists, tear apart the American character. They deny that we are all Americans, without regard to race, creed or background.

"That is why even going back to when I was governor of Boys’ States in 1957, I called for outlawing the Ku Klux Klan, and as a student editor in 1962, I helped to desegregate Vanderbilt University. To open doors to African Americans, as governor, I appointed the first black Supreme Court Justice and the first black Chancellor. As president of the University of Tennessee, I appointed the first black UT vice-presidents. 

"I will continue to oppose those who would close doors to Americans based upon race, religion or background."

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) spoke to the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and had this to say:

“We know that our nation has had a rough several days after the events in Charlottesville this past weekend. Make no mistake – White Supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis and all groups that preach hate, prejudice, racism and bigotry have no place in our country and must be explicitly condemned. As a United States Attorney, I prosecuted federal hate crimes. I strongly encourage the Department of Justice to follow through on the investigation from last weekend’s events.”

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) spoke out against the violence in Charlottesville, but made no reference to white supremacy:

Other political figures have been critical of President Donald Trump for his comments on the violence--first, because of his hesitancy to condemn white supremacy, and later for his argument that the hate and violence is coming from "both sides."

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) has been highly critical of the president, going so far as to say President Trump "stands with neo-Nazis and (the) KKK."

Meanwhile, former U.S. presidents are chiming in on the white supremacy controversy, including Barack Obama with what is now the most liked tweet of all time:

President Bill Clinton was quick to call out white supremacy, doing so directly on Saturday:

Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush issued a joint statement to condemn racial bigotry:

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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