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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Local Leaders Condemning Trump's Charlottesville Response

Aug 17, 2017
News Articles

Local Leaders Condemning Trump's Charlottesville Response

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Local elected officials and faith leaders have universally condemned the hatred and bigotry coming from the neo-Nazi and white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville. Many of them now want President Trump to stand more forcefully against those protesters.

The president is wrong," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D - Ohio. "There are not many sides to blame. There's right and wrong. White nationalism, racism, hatred, anti-Semitism, bigotry are wrong."

Governor John Kasich posted a statement on Twitter saying, "let's get real". His statement read, "there is no moral equivalency to Nazi sympathizers. There can be no room in America -- or the Republican Party -- for racism, anti-Semitism, hate or white nationalism. Period."

Many Democrats and some Republicans called on President Trump to lead the country against racism and bigotry.

"I want a president that stands up for all Americans and denounces that and says it's wrong versus making excuses for two sides," said Rep. Joyce Beatty, D - Columbus.

Senator Rob Portman, Representative Pat Tiberi and Representative Steve Stivers all released statements condemning the violence and bigotry seen in Charlottesville. Those sentiments were echoed by many in the Columbus faith community. Much of the hatred being spewed by the neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville was directed at the Jewish community.

"Kind of shock I think and a little bit surprised that in America in 2017, you could be having a rally like that with armed militiamen chanting those kind of slogans," said Howie Beigelman, the executive director of the Ohio Jewish Communities.

Beigelman said local Republicans and Democrats rallied to support him.

"A bunch of folks, really everyone has been making really powerful statements about the need to really root this out of America and protect everyone who needs to be protected," he said.

Christian leaders like Dr. Glen Miles at First Community Church in Marble Cliff said they've been pleased to see a bipartisan rally of support against hatred.

"I've been thrilled first of all that the response from both sides of the aisle from governors and senators and congresspeople has been from what I can see very, very strong in opposition to what the president said," Miles said.

Miles, who is part of a group of clergy called Faith in Public Life, said he sees a lack of moral clarity coming from the White House.

"I'm very concerned that someone could look at what happened in Charlottesville and see some kind of moral equivalency there," he said. "One side is racist. One side is promoting Nazi and white supremacist values and the other side was opposing racism."

Some faith leaders said through all of the darkness of the past few days of violence, they've seen slivers of light.

"Perhaps the silver lining here is that we're seeing that the real American story is that different ethnicities, different nationalities, different religions, different faiths, different communities are really all in this together," Beigelman said.

Faith in Public Life said 200 Ohio faith leaders and clergy have joined together to call on President Trump to fire adviser Steve Bannon and anyone else associated with the alt-right. Those faith leaders joined roughly 2,500 clergy from across the country.

This article was originally published by WSYX-ABC6 Columbus on August 17, 2017.