State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

A call for unity across Pa. in the wake of Charlottesville

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 17, 2017 5:36 AM

A bipartisan panel spoke at an anti-racism rally in Carlisle. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)


(Carlisle) -- Violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia set off a nationwide firestorm over race relations this week.

In Pennsylvania, dozens of demonstrations are now popping up to condemn racial hatred, and to call for unity.

An evening rally in the Cumberland County city of Carlisle packed the town square with several hundred people.

Mayor Tim Scott said he didn't expect such a crowd--but added, he wasn't that surprised.

He said even in a place like Carlisle, where white supremacy doesn't seem like a big threat, the issue of racial equality still looms large.   

"There's always going to be an undercurrent," he said. "That's why it's important to bring it out into the light and not be afraid to talk about it."

Fallout from the Charlottesville conflict intensified after President Donald Trump made a statement condemning both white supremacists, and counter-protesters for engaging in violence.

Cumberland County Representative Stephen Bloom, a Republican who spoke at the rally, said lots of ideological groups have committed "acts of evil" in American history.

But one, he said, is most important right now.

"Those types of arguments end up being a distraction from the fact that a white supremacist domestic terrorist killed a woman," Bloom said. "That's what we need to be condemning."

He called the recent rise of white supremacy "unprecedented" in the modern era.  

More rallies are scheduled in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lancaster, and a number of other cities. 

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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