Saint Paul, MINN. – Today, the People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and lawmakers with Jewish ancestry released the following joint statement regarding the violence in Charlottesville:
“We are heartbroken by the domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. We mourn for Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, Trooper-Pilot Burke Bates and all those affected by the domestic terrorists in Charlottesville.
“The United States' stance on Nazis was determined when millions of American men and women joined the world to defeat the Nazis in the Second World War. While we are not blind to the racism and antisemitism that persists in our society today, as legislators, we are also not blind to the amazing justice work being done by Jewish and POCI communities with their allies. As we saw in Charlottesville, the recent emboldening of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK is dangerous and resulted in numerous injuries and the loss of three lives.
“Yet we are mindful that the hateful ideology so boldly displayed in Charlottesville also lives here in Minnesota. With the shooting of five protestors by white supremacists near the 4th precinct, the assault of a Cottage Grove woman for not speaking English, racist graffiti on a black family's home in Delano, death threats to Jewish Community Centers, vandalization at the Islamic Cemetery in Castle Rock, racial epithets and calls to ‘Hail the KKK’ scrawled on the walls of a Lakeville high school, and the bombing of a Bloomington mosque, we've seen too often the hate that lives in our communities. There are countless acts of bigotry occurring every day that don't make the news and we never hear about.
“There are moments in every generation where we are called to defend democracy; to reaffirm our commitment to progress. A moment where we know we must put more time and more attention into the quest for that more perfect union. We stand united on the only acceptable side of this issue: complete opposition to Nazis, the KKK and those who defend their ideology.”
The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus is a new caucus first formed in 2017 and includes Reps. Mary Kunesh-Podein (41B), Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Peggy Flanagan (46A), Erin Maye Quade (57A), Fue Lee (59A), Ilhan Omar (60B), Susan Allen (62B), Rena Moran (65A), and Carlos Mariani (65B), Sen. Melisa Franzen (49).
They are joined by their colleagues with Jewish ancestry: Reps. Jon Applebaum (44B), Mike Freiberg (45B), Frank Hornstein (61A), and Paul Rosenthal (49B), Sens. Steve Cwodzindski (48), Ron Latz (46), Richard Cohen (64), and Sandy Pappas (65).