The Illinois state senate is taking a huge step forward against radical fascist elements in our nation, passing a resolution calling for police across the state to describe Nazi groups as terrorist organizations.
“It is vital that we stand in total opposition to the hatred, bigotry and violence displayed by the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville this past weekend,” state Democratic Senator Don Harmon said. Harmon, who sponsored the bill, also added, “We fought two bloody wars in opposition to their ideologies. We must continue to fight those same twisted ideologies today.”
These fringe organizations and so-called “alt right” white supremacist groups, like those who came to Charlottesville this past weekend, are the “heirs to the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis,” Harmon said.
The resolution was passed in the wake of violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. White supremacists convened into the city after the mayor announced he was considering removing the city’s statue honoring Robert E. Lee, a southern Civil War general. White supremacists congregated in the thousands on Emancipation Park, which was formerly named Lee Park, to protest the removal, donning signs and wearing emblems that matched those worn by Nazis in Germany and segregationists during the era of Jim Crow in America.
Counter-protesters also entered the city, and violence soon escalated. A group of white supremacists beat a black man with pipes in a parking garage in one incident, and a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer was killed when another supremacist drove his vehicle into a group of counter-protesters. At least a dozen more were injured in that same vehicle crash.
The Illinois senate’s resolution, while non-binding, addresses the actions of those engaging in (and supportive of) these types of actions as terrorist groups. It’s a condemnation that goes much farther than what President Donald Trump has said about the actions that took place in Charlottesville.
The president condemned violence “on all sides,” but failed to call out white supremacists who were responsible for the death and brutal injuries that took place over the weekend. Many have criticized the president for his omission, with some commentators expressing that Trump may be fearful of upsetting a large segment of his base, making him reluctant to state such a proclamation.