Senator Orrin Hatch, the longest serving Republican in the United States Senate, issued a statement on the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, and what it means to the United States as a nation.
On Saturday Hatch responded to the events, saying, “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
Today, Hatch expanded on those remarks:
I was just eight years old when my older brother Jesse was killed in World War II. As I said on Saturday, Jesse didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. I will never hesitate to speak out against hate–whenever and wherever I see it.
In the wake of this weekend’s violence, our nation has some soul-searching to do. It is not a time to say “What about” but to seriously ask ourselves “What now?
The choice before us is stark: Either we succumb to the bigotry and tribalism which threaten to tear us apart–or we condemn evil in all its forms and determine to come together as one nation, one people, united under God.
I believe in the infinite capacity of the American people. And I believe that the unbreakable bonds of affection, which for so long have held us together as a nation, are stronger than the forces which seek to divide us.
Above all, I believe in the virtue of civility. While I have strived to demonstrate compassion, comity, and respect throughout my public service, I have, at various times, fallen short of the ideal. But today, I am recommitting myself to civility–and I hope you will join me in doing the same.
Civility requires that we approach debate and discourse with sound logic and new ideas, not with cardboard shields and tiki torches. It asks that we bear our beliefs proudly and in the open, not behind the cowardly anonymity of social media accounts.
The tragedy in Charlottesville calls for a moment of national renewal. Let us all resolve to change. Let us all commit to fighting hatred in our communities with love, empathy, and understanding.