Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) on Monday sounded off on the events that have transpired over the last week since Charlottesville and made it clear that he will not tolerate white nationalism, anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny.
“Contrary to popular belief, white nationalism did not retreat in the aftermath of the American Civil War or the American civil rights movement. It simply became less visible, entrenched, sometimes unknowingly, in our statutes, programs, and policies.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing a resurgence in overt racism and blatant hate crimes, driven by violent, racist, and nativist rhetoric. While many of us have turned a blind eye over the years to the morally repugnant ideology espoused by these groups, we can no longer afford to dismiss them as fringe organizations with no capability to affect mainstream political discourse in the United States.
“As the events in Charlottesville demonstrate, the time has come for us to speak out against these hate groups who seek to verbally and physically attack other Americans who are our neighbors, our friends, our families. There simply are not two rational sides to this issue. The side that makes us Americans based on the principles embedded into our Constitution was not on display by these hate groups.
“Just as our Declaration of Independence envisions that all persons are ‘created equal’ the document also begs for a ‘decent respect to the opinions of mankind.’ We should care that the world is watching how we resolve this social justice issue. In this regard if we strive to protect the rights of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ for everyone, it is incumbent that we stand up against hatred towards those who may look different than us or practice their own religion.
“White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and members of the KKK are a minority opinion that espouses hatred rather than tolerance. To suggest that there is a moral equivalence with those fighting for tolerance and justice misses the point of our foundational principles.
“To those who choose to make public their hateful ideologies, let it be clear that you will find absolutely no safe haven here. I am prepared to work closely with my colleagues, and do whatever it takes, to ensure that this brand of hatred has no home here in New Jersey.”