Gov. Charlie Baker and Massachusetts legislators came together Thursday morning to present a resolution condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis following a rally in Charlottesville that turned violent last weekend.
Officials took turns reading out parts of the proclamation, which included messages like, “while free speech is a bedrock value, white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote a message that is the antithesis of Massachusetts’ dedication for civil rights for all.”
Copies of the resolution will be sent to Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and President Donald Trump.
Baker, a Republican, presented it alongside two Democrats, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who each presented identical resolutions.
The resolution also warned that white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups “are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order as they seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism and ethnic eradication.”
“We strongly denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violence, xenophobic biases and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis,” the resolution reads. “We urge law enforcement agencies and elected officials at every level of government to condemn white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, to vigorously pursue justice in response to hate-fueled violence and work to ensure the protection of the marginalized and targeted communities.”
The document also acknowledged that white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups have been redesignating themselves as “alt-right,” but that term does not diminish their hateful rhetoric.
The move seems to come after Trump faced criticism for not disavowing such groups entirely or quickly enough after the Charlottesville events.
The Boston area has been preparing for a Free Speech Rally this weekend that some feared would mimic the Charlottesville violence. Event organizers say they are not associated with Charlottesville and that the motive is to encourage free speech for all.
At a news conference concerning Charlottesville and the upcoming Boston rally, Baker reiterated that there is no place in Massachusetts “for that type of hatred, period, that we saw in Virginia.”
“What happened in Charlottesville, simply put, was an act of terrorism,” he said.