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US Senate candidate Hansen responds to violence in Virginia

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Saturday, August 12, 2017: Over the past few days, neo-Nazis and White supremacists fought in a series of clashes with Black Lives Matter and Antifa members. On Saturday, an alt-right protestor drove a car into a crowd of leftist protesters killing one and injuring several.

US Senate candidate Michael Hansen (D) released a statement in response to the recent events at the University of Virginia.

Hansen said, “In no uncertain terms, I denounce the so-called Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. The right to free speech protected by the First Amendment is not a right to violence. But violence is precisely what happened when hundreds of torch-wielding White Supremacists showed up at the University of Virginia Friday evening chanting well-known racist slogans like ‘blood and soil.’”

Hansen continued, “When I was a child, I had a Confederate Flag on display in my bedroom. But when I grew up and began to study our history, I learned what those symbols meant. And I rejected them and have been fighting prejudice and hate ever since. The point of this anecdote is to say that when we know better, we must do better.”

Hansen concluded, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ We cannot sit in silence about this deplorable behavior lest it spread beyond one college campus. I am calling on every candidate in this race to immediately and forcefully condemn this disgusting display of racist hate.”

Many civil rights and leftist groups are putting political pressure on local governments to remove Confederate monuments and statues arguing that those memorials perpetuate white supremist views.  Pro-Southern heritage grops have been protesting in favor of preserving the monuments for future generations.  In New Orleans, the city removed a number of famous Confederate monuments over the objections of the Confederate heritage groups, after the State of Louisiana refused to take any action.

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Now that effort has moved to Virginia and the protests on both sides have been taken up by some of the most extreme elements in the body politic, including Black Lives Matter and Antifa on one side and a rise in the influence of White Supremacist groups on the other side.  The Alabama Legislature avoided this hysteria here by passing a law preserving historic monuments and memorials during the last Legislative session.

Michael Hansen is a candidate in the Democratic Party Primary on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  Hansen is an environmentalist who has described himself as an “Unapologetic progressive.”  If elected he would be the first openly gay person elected statewide in Alabama history.

He faces a crowded Democratic Party field that includes: Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Charles Nana.  Former US Attorney Doug Jones has most of the money and big name endorsements; but former US Navy Lt Commander Robert Kennedy Jr. has led in all three of the polls that The Alabama Political Reporter has seen.

There are nine Republicans running for the Senate in the GOP Primary.

If necessary there will be a Primary Runoff on September 26.

The two major party nominees will face off in the special general election on Tuesday, December 12.

Polls open Tuesday at 7:00 am and close at 7:00 pm.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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