Michigan Civil Rights Leaders Issue Statements on Events in Charlottesville, VA

Contact: Vicki Levengood 517-241-7978
Agency: Civil Rights

August 14, 2017

Lansing, MI — Leaders of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights today issued the following statements in response to events in Charlottesville, VA.

“The outrageous events in Charlottesville are a stark reminder that hate, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and the Nazi world view are not dead, and in fact may be resurgent in our land. While we have a constitutional duty to defend free speech, we must also speak up and speak out against hate speech and hate-motivated actions aimed at targeting, marginalizing, demonizing and harming any group or individual. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is committed to closely monitoring Michigan-based hate groups and hate crimes, and will take action working with local community leaders where appropriate under our Constitutional authority.”   - Rasha Demashkieh, Co-Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.

“The Charlottesville tragedy puts us all on notice. We must come together to face down the voices of hate and bias in our country and in Michigan. We must work harder to reach and protect those who are vulnerable to the vile message these groups espouse and speak out against such hateful speech. And we must call upon government at all levels – local, regional, state and federal – to prosecute hate crimes, to charge those responsible for violating the civil rights of others, and to fully investigate complaints of bias and discrimination whenever and wherever they occur.” – Agustin V. Arbulu, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.