Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Members of the Texas Senate spoke against racism and intolerance in the wake of a rally in Virginia that has set off a national discussion on the nature of free speech and assembly. Protests against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday turned deadly when a car slammed into the crowd, killing one woman, Heather Heyer, and injured dozens more. The driver of the car was charged with murder by local officials. Two police officers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, also lost their lives when the helicopter they were using as part of security monitoring for the event crashed.   “Some of them stepped up to oppose the immoral hatred, bigotry and racism of the white supremacists that had descended upon Charlottesville, and they were targeted as a result. Others were public servants who stepped up to protect them; all of them,” said Austin Senator Kirk Watson. “Our values should be diversity, equality, and love. ”

Among those who rose to speak in condemnation of bigotry was Senator Charles Schwertner of Georgetown. He also represents College Station, where another group of white supremacists had vowed to hold a similar rally on September 11th. Schwertner condemned this group and the views they espouse. “As the representative of the Brazos Valley and Texas A&M University, I find it incumbent on myself to stand up and say, what was happening in Charlottesville is absolutely wrong,” Schwertner told his colleagues. “We should not stand for bigotry, for violence, for racism. Instead, we should stand for friendship, not division, tolerance, not bigotry, and love, not hate.”