WASHINGTON — While decent human beings of both parties have found the backbone to stand up to Trump’s racist comments, not a single Republican General Assembly member has condemned the president’s latest hateful tirades.
“Virginia Republicans have wanted to talk about racism for six months, but when confronted with President Trump’s bigotry, they crumble under the weight of their own cowardice,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee press secretary Matt Harringer.
“We don’t have to agree on the issues, but every elected official has a moral obligation to take a stand against Trump’s racism. As Elie Wiesel said, ‘Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’”
Of particular note is the silence of fake moderates like Delegate Glenn Davis, who also defended white nationalist Corey Stewart against charges of racism.
“While many people may not agree with @CoreyStewartVA, he is not a racist, and no one is a racist just because they support him. Statements otherwise just trivialize the real harms of racism,” Davis tweeted last year.
Davis, confronted with his own words that he was running “to do exactly what Donald Trump did in Washington,” attempted to distance himself from the quote, but refused to condemn Trump’s racism when repeatedly asked.
Senator Bill DeSteph has also remained silent on Trump’s racism — but his timidity is less surprising given his tendency to take cues from groups like Act! For America, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and his opposition to a mosque in Virginia Beach.
In contrast to Virginia’s silent assembly members, a handful of Republican legislators in other states have condemned Trump’s racist comments and campaign rally chants.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” — Elie Wiesel