Gov. Wolf Letter Concerning White Supremacists
Letter from Governor Wolf Concerning White Supremacists
On Saturday, white supremacists tried to intimidate and terrorize the people of Virginia with torches and violence, but hate did not prevail.
Instead, we saw a community come together in the face of intolerance and remind the world that America stands for justice, fairness, and compassion. We saw this bravery in Heather Heyer, the young woman whose life was cut short by a terrorist, and in the two state troopers who were killed when their helicopter crashed as they were on their way to protect others.
Like many of you, Frances and I are horrified and heartbroken by the events that took place in Charlottesville, and our prayers are with the victims of racism and intolerance.
Let me be clear: there is no place for white supremacy in our country — and President Donald Trump’s response that implied otherwise was nothing short of disgusting and incendiary. There are no “both sides” to this. There’s never been a “both sides” to systematic oppression and intolerance. The president’s refusal to condemn the side that brought torches, confederate and swastika flags, and bigoted chants to a protest is an insult to every American who has shed blood to defeat hate like this.
I have a message for any white supremacist who thinks that they can make Pennsylvania a safe haven for bigotry and intolerance: you are not welcome here. You cannot intimidate us because the spirit of Pennsylvania will always win over hate.
The simple idea that all men are created equal, written on the Declaration of Independence signed here in Pennsylvania, would become the keystone of our nation’s identity. Gettysburg is a symbol of the blood that tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians — of all races — have shed for the freedom of others. It’s where President Abraham Lincoln reminded us of our obligation to carry on the fight against oppression in their honor — a call that Americans remembered when they enlisted to fight the horror of Nazi Germany.
It is no longer acceptable for an elected official, Democrat or Republican, to be silent about this. This is bigger than political parties. This is about the very meaning of what it means to be an American.
If your leaders aren’t condemning Trump’s blind eye towards white supremacy, ask them why they’re quiet. They need to answer to the people they serve and represent.
Pennsylvania was built on the values of freedom and inclusion — and I will always defend the diverse views, cultures, identities, religions, and shared life experiences that have contributed to the creation of this melting pot we call home.