New York officials react to, denounce Charlottesville rally

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was one of several top New York officials who condemned the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday that turned violent. / SBG File Photo

Several of New York's top public officials released statements condemning Saturday's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that turned violent, killing one person and injuring 19 others.

"I and my fellow New Yorkers reject the hateful and ugly ?rhetoric and violence taking place in Charlottesville last night and into today," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday evening. "We condemn the language of white supremacy and ugly racist hate speech and stand appalled at the violence that has resulted in injury and death. There are not many sides to the violence of last night and today — these actions and this speech are a poison and serve to bring us all down to the lowest and most un-American of moments."

On Sunday, the governor also launched a petition calling on President Donald Trump to condemn and denounce white supremacy.

"After the deadly and ugly events in Charlottesville I am calling on President Trump to clearly and unequivocally condemn and denounce the violent protest organized by the white supremacists and neo-Nazis, including Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, with support from David Duke," Cuomo said. "President Trump must immediately call this for what it is — no cover, no euphemisms."

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the violence on display "an affront to everything this country represents."

"Each of us—especially those of us in public office—has a moral obligation to condemn these actions in the strongest of terms," Schneiderman said. "False equivalencies between 'sides' simply provides cover to the white supremacists seeking to take our country backwards and tear our communities apart."

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said the incident Saturday was a warning and wake-up call for the nation.

"Violence and intolerance are taking the place of place of discourse in our nation," DiNapoli said. "All leaders, particularly the White House, must call out domestic terrorism and white supremacist hatred by name. Failure to confront and condemn the disease only helps it grow.”

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