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Chairman Nadler Statement in Support of House Resolution Rejecting White Nationalism and White Supremacy

Jan 15, 2019

Washington, D.C. –Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke on the House floor in support of H.Res. 41, a resolution Rejecting White Nationalism and White Supremacy. 

The following are Congressman Nadler's remarks, as prepared, and a video available here:

"Madame Speaker, this resolution stands for one very simple proposition: White nationalism and White supremacy are hateful expressions of intolerance that have no place in the United States of America.

"Unfortunately, what should be an obvious statement in 2019 has been challenged in recent days—and not for the first time—by one of our own colleagues.  As those elected to represent all of America, Members of Congress should be the first to condemn White nationalism and White supremacy, which are the source of so much violence, so much hatred, and so much divisiveness throughout our nation’s history.  These hateful ideologies are diametrically opposed to what America is supposed to be.

"But, as the New York Times reported last week, Mr. King of Iowa was quoted as saying “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?”

"Well, I will tell him, and anyone else who may be confused.

"This language has always been offensive.  We fought a Civil War to establish that.  But this language, and the philosophy it represents, persisted.  It motivated the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize African Americans; it sparked Jim Crow laws that oppressed African Americans through institutionalized racism; it inspired the murder of 9 black congregants in a Charleston, South Carolina church; and the murder of 11 Jewish worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue; and it inspired racists, anti-semites, and other assorted bigots at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that spread fear, hatred, and, ultimately, violence in celebration of White supremacy.

"These hateful ideologies are dangerous not just because they, too often, lead to violence.  These noxious views can also infect the policies that govern our nation, sowing more division, and leading to more injustice in our society.  When we establish Muslim bans; when we try to build walls to keep out those who do not look like us; and when we reverse a half century of progress on voting rights and civil rights, we are putting these hateful views into action.

"I want to thank the distinguished Majority Whip, the Gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Clyburn, for bringing this resolution forward.  He knows from his experience—both as a leader in the Civil Rights movement, and as a Member of Congress whose own constituents were recently targeted in a vicious attack motivated by White supremacy—that when we see bigotry and hatred expressed, in any form, we must condemn it, loudly and forcefully.

"We can pretend that these sentiments do not exist in our country, in this Congress, or in the White House.  We can try to sweep them under the rug, and to convince ourselves that we have moved past our shameful history on race.  But we ignore White supremacy at our peril.  If we do not speak out now, collectively as a Congress, clearly and without reservation, we will send the message that these views are acceptable, and they will continue to fester in communities across the country, generating more hatred, more repression, and more violence, in their wake.

"I call upon all of my colleagues—Republican and Democrat alike—to reject the hateful ideology of White nationalism and White supremacy, the policies that flow from such hatred, and anyone that would espouse those views.

"Vote yes on this important resolution.

"I reserve the balance of my time."

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116th Congress