Washington DC – The Arc’s national office released the following statement in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:
“Our collective hearts break after witnessing the hatred, violence, and innocent death that rocked Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. This hatred does not represent our America; it is a shocking betrayal of the values of our nation. We are sickened by the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who brought hate and violence into the streets, and appalled that President Trump chose to place blame not only on them, but on those who were protesting against this resurgence of evil in our society. The counter protesters who stood up for the inclusion that America was founded upon are not responsible for what happened – it was those resorting to violence while spewing racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and islamophobic vitriol who were at fault.
“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have faced decades of abuse, discrimination, and institutionalization. We must not forget that the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis in Germany included among its targets those with disabilities, and that eugenic sterilization was practiced here in the United States. The occurrences of this weekend remind us of dark times in our history, and of the hate and ignorance that fueled these deplorable actions. That hate was alive this weekend.
“Disability does not discriminate and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are represented in all minority groups: people of color, immigrants, refugees, members of every religious group, and members of the LGBTQ community. We remain on the side of inclusion, on the side of our brothers and sisters in civil rights who were brutally attacked in Charlottesville,” said Peter V. Berns, Chief Executive Officer of The Arc