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hatred and bigotry, undone

Today is the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

I've been thinking about the anniversary a lot lately because that was one of the clearest signals, early on, that we had reached an especially dark place, that we weren't just dealing with struggle and suffering that was sporadic, we were facing off against some of our most terrifying nightmares.

Hatred and bigotry so virulent that citizens accost each other on sidewalks and in supermarkets. Law enforcement officials called on neighbors just because they "look different" or "act different." White supremacists marching in the streets with torches.

America has had its fair share of terrible conflicts and injustices. But, in those moments, the moral leadership of strong, caring Americans has seen us through.

The courage of those willing to stand up for each other, even as a disapproving majority faces them down. America at its best is about seeing and embracing the humanity of all of our people, even when that wasn't the most popular opinion.

We stand at a perilous, but familiar, crossroads for America today. We can choose to be complicit in this nightmare — stand by while we're overrun by the forces of closed-mindedness, division, and hate. Or we can take the bolder but more difficult path, inspired by those who've come before to make our union just a little more perfect. We can choose to celebrate the beauty and joy of difference instead of the inhumane separation of discrimination, we can choose to listen with our ears and hearts in a time that too often celebrates volume alone, and we can choose, above all, to honor and safeguard the security, dignity, and humanity of every person who calls America home.

One year ago, tragic violence rocked Charlottesville, Virginia. The people of Connecticut and America are demanding moral leadership, from Washington leaders, from all of us. If we all choose to do more, if we all choose to step up, I know that we can get through this, and even grow stronger from this, as long as we do it together. Together, always.

Jim

Posted on August 12, 2018.

Meet Jim

Congressman Jim Himes is a tireless voice for common-sense, independent solutions to the challenges facing Connecticut. He's looking out for the middle class, fighting for affordable health care for all, taking on special interests like the NRA to end gun violence, and working to create economic opportunity for working families.

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