Breen condemns Charlottesville attack, says hate has no place in Illinois
Racism and white supremacists are not welcome in Illinois in any shape or form, Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) said in joining his House colleagues' condemnation of hate groups such as neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
“It is so right to condemn the acts of domestic terrorism, hate and violence in Charlottesville," Breen said in support of House Resolution 569. "These actions in the past few days are a vivid reminder of how terribly evil we have been to one another in our own history."
On Aug. 12, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man affiliated with white supremacy, drove a car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring at least 19 others. Fields has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and three counts of malicious wounding.
The tragedy triggered what many considered to be a much-needed discussion on hate, race and terrorism.
HR569 was presented by Rep. Elgie Sims Jr.(D-Chicago), who lamented the need for the measure.
“These hateful actions represent an effort to spread fear and take us back to a very regrettable time in our nation’s history,” Sims said. “These actions seek to (create) division in our communities and are a challenge to the very heart and soul of who we are as Americans. Now is not the time to be impartial. It’s not the time to waiver.”
Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) co-sponsored HR569.
“We have to stand unified on this point,” McSweeney said. “The act of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville ... can never happen again.”
Breen concurred, urging civility and, in a moment symbolizing HR569’s call for unity, asked that every member of the House be added as a co-sponsor to the resolution. There were no objections, and HR569 passed 105-0 on Aug. 16.