Litvack: It is important for local leaders to condemn actions of neo-nazis

Submitted by Sandy Litvack, candidate for Greenwich First Selectman, regarding Charlottesville:

As the enormity of the tragedy at Charlottesville sinks deeper into our minds and hearts and the silence from important leaders becomes more and more deafening, I feel compelled to add my voice to those who have denounced the neo-nazis and other white hate groups who have sought to rain terror upon our most vulnerable.

As I stood at the Indivisible Group vigil yesterday at Town Hall, I realized that while it is important that our national leaders speak out to condemn the actions of these terrorists, it is even more important for local and municipal leaders to do so, as the Mayor of Charlottesville has done.

It is these leaders, who are closest to the citizens in their towns, who must set the standard for what will and will not be tolerated in the community.

It is critical that each community — whether it is a town, a city or village — understand where its leaders stand on issues of tolerance, of respect and of acceptable behavior.

Sitting silently in the face of hatred, in the face of a lack of civility, or a lack of respect for each other only encourages those who perpetrate the type of violence we saw in Charlottesville.

Hate groups, whether neo-nazis, KKK or any other supremacist group must come to understand that their brand of intolerance will be not be accepted anywhere, particularly locally.

To make that happen our local leaders must speak out. They must make it clear that there is no place for these people in our town. There is no place for their venom or xenophobia and there is no place for them.

For my part, I #StandWithCharlottesville. I call upon others to do the same.

Sandy Litvack