Tags: Charlottesville | NAACP | not enough | lawmakers | talk | race

NAACP Leader: 'Not Enough' for Lawmakers to Talk About Race

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Thursday, 17 August 2017 02:02 PM

It's not enough for lawmakers to say they're opposed to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, as change must come through policy implementation, and it does not help that "we have a president who has empowered a group of domestic terrorists," interim NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said Thursday.

"The NAACP was founded to fight for anti-lynching legislation," Johnson told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We are now reviewing the hate crime bill. We have a president who has empowered a group of domestic terrorists, who openly carry firearms, who are willing to weaponize their vehicles, harm, injure, and in this case kill individuals."

The United States, he continued, is in a "state of emergency, and we need to respond appropriately," and the NAACP will work with its partners to call congressional leaders to discuss what needs to be done to strengthen the hate crime bill to ensure all citizens are protected.

There have been some Republican politicians who have spoken out aggressively over President Donald Trump's comments concerning Charlottesville, and some who have not, but Johnson said it's time to "move beyond the immediate impact of what's taken place."

"We greatly appreciate and are encouraged by the statements made," said Johnson. "Now it's time for action. We cannot allow this to be another situation where we have an incident, people react, we are remorseful, and then we go back to normal."

Further, Johnson said, "we've seen over the last years that dark politics has grown to open hostility," and has resulted in situations such as the one in South Carolina, "where a young man goes into a church and murders nine people, or an individual drives from Ohio, weaponized his vehicle and injured and killed individuals."

Johnson said he is worried that the nation is waiting for the "next Timothy McVeigh," referring to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing attack. "We cannot afford in this country to allow the political environment to deteriorate to a place where we could be on the brink of some type of armed hostile engagement."

Instead, he said, Americans "need to move, step away from the political dialogue, discourse that's taken place and really talk about policy solutions."

Johnson also said he believes Congress should step up following Trump's statements on Charlottesville.

"If the president refuses to honor the moral values of this country, we need Congress to step up," said Johnson. "It is not enough just to say we disagree with the president. It's more impactful, more important for Congress to say let's review the hate crime bill to ensure that all Americans are protected."

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It's not enough for lawmakers to say they're opposed to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, as change must come through policy implementation, and it does not help that "we have a president who has empowered a group of domestic terrorists," interim NAACP President and CEO...
NAACP, not enough, lawmakers, talk, race
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2017-02-17
Thursday, 17 August 2017 02:02 PM
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