NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Aug. 17, the Tennessee Democratic Party, the NAACP, the Service Employees International Union Local 205 and the Tennessee College Democrats held a press conference to denounce the hateful ideologies that led to tragedy in Charlottesville. They also called on the leaders of the Republican Party in Tennessee to condemn President Trump for his remarks that embolden white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
“We believe that every Tennessean, no matter who they are, where they live, or what they look like deserves to live free of persecution so they are able to fill their full potential and pursue happiness in this state,” said Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.
Rep. Harold Love Jr. followed Mancini, saying, “It is certainly deeply troubling to know that racism, white supremacy and Neo-Nazism has found comfortableness under this administration, and we hope and pray that our leaders across the nation will send a message that this kind of attitude will not be tolerated.”
Ludye Wallace, president of the Nashville NAACP, noted that, “The NAACP, the national organization, was found on the principle that it would fight hatred and injustice and that is where we stand today.”
Lee Smith, a student at Tennessee State University and vice president of the Tennessee College Democrats called on students to act, saying, “It is time for us to stand against Donald Trump, Neo-Nazism, the Alt-Right, and white supremacy. To my fellow college students and college Democrats, one of the first steps we can take in that direction is simply getting registered to vote.”
Freda Player, political director of the Service Employees International Union Local 205, highlighted the diversity of their membership, saying, “We at SEIU Local 205 draw our strength from the diversity of our union members. We are black, white, young and old, urban and rural, conservative and liberal. We stand together for all working people to live and work with dignity and respect no matter who you are.”
Mancini called out state Republicans for not speaking up against President Trump, saying, “Republican state representatives like Sheila Butt and Micah Van Huss agree with the President, agree with the words he used. Leaders of the Tennessee Republican Party need to stand up and say that President Trump is simply wrong … there is a side is fueled by hatred and a side that is fueled by the thirst for justice and for equality.”
Mancini closed by calling for action. She said, “If we want to see changes in Tennessee, then we must register to vote and we must get people out to vote.”
This column was provided by the Tennessee Democratic Party, Dr. Geeta McMillan, treasurer. It was not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.