Charlottesville. Who would have thought that there were that many angry people filled with that much hate? I offer my full thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost, those injured, and to the community at large.

As a Mexican-American who grew up in a place where even the cemetery was segregated, I’ve seen my share of discrimination. But I’m deeply saddened to see that, in 2017, racist groups are more emboldened than ever.

We cannot pretend that this hatred is coming from ‘many sides.’ The hatred this weekend came from white supremacists and neo-Nazis. There should be no acceptable place in American society for them.

I’m glad that President Trump finally condemned these white nationalist groups by name. Unfortunately, it took incredible pressure from Republicans, Democrats, independents and others to get him there.

If President Trump wants his words today to be meaningful, he must:

  • Fire Steve Bannon and any advisor who promoting white nationalism;
  • End his racist pursuit of a ‘Muslim ban;’
  • Stop pursuing a wasteful and divisive border wall; and
  • End his offensive rhetoric against immigrants.

We are a nation made stronger by diversity. I see that every day in the 23rd District of Texas. From Alpine to El Paso, and San Antonio to Eagle Pass, everyone is unique and united as both Americans and Texans.

If we’re going to move forward as a country, we must put words into action. I’m ready to work with anyone to make that happen.

Together, we can and will rise above hate.

-pete