Like so many of you, I have been following the news and aftermath of the events in Charlottesville with horror and grief.
On Saturday, an act of domestic terrorism took the life of Heather Heyer, a paralegal who bravely stood up to hate, intolerance, and racism. In addition, two police officers, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, were killed when their helicopter crashed as they worked to support law enforcement responding to the events in Charlottesville. Many others are suffering from injuries.
I am thinking today of those who were lost, those who were injured, and their loved ones.
Yesterday, hate and intolerance came to King County when pro-Trump, right-wing radicals gathered at Westlake Park under the false pretense of patriotism the very day after the deadly violence in Charlottesville.
To the white supremacists, fascists, and neo-Nazis who descended on our community, I have a message to share on behalf of the people of King County:
We fought a Civil War against slavery, and you lost.
We fought a World War against Nazism and fascism, and you lost.
Here in King County, we stand united against the hate and violence you promote.
Make no mistake, you will lose again.
We value all people, regardless of who they love, where they’re from, their gender identity, the religion they practice (or don’t), or their racial or ethnic background. If you are of good will, and want the best for your neighbor, this is your home. You belong here.
To those who will not open their hearts to love and inclusion – who can’t embrace an America where all people are created equal – you can’t divide us, and you can’t defeat us. Our diversity and commitment to the value of every person is our strength, and we are stronger than your hate.
May the events of this past weekend shine a light on the evil of bigotry, racism, and intolerance, so that America may once again reaffirm its commitment to fulfilling its promise as a beacon of hope and liberty for all.