Calls on President Trump and Elected Officials Nationwide to Disavow White Nationalist Neo-Nazi Groups
Governor Cuomo: "There is a pervasive, growing attitude of intolerance and hate in this country I challenge every politician in this country - from President Trump on down - to disavow these neo-Nazi groups. They are domestic terrorists. That is what they are."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called on elected officials nationwide to disavow neo-Nazi groups and call them what they are: domestic terrorists.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Look, we have had an 83 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in this state. 83 percent. Over 50 percent in the nation, but 83 percent in this state. We have had an increase in LGBTQ hostile acts in this state. There is a pervasive, growing attitude of intolerance and hate in this country. I refer to it as the American cancer. It is a cancer because what cancer does is one cell in the body politic attacks other cells. That is what we are doing. Anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-African American, anti-LGBTQ - it is a cancer in the body politic of America, and it has to be stopped. You can have political differences without hating. You can be a Democrat or Republican. You can have a difference of opinion without hating. By the way, we have always had differences of opinion. What? Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton - there were always differences of opinion. Never went to hate that is destructive to the core of the nation. That never happened. E Pluribus Unum - out of many, one. We'll figure out the political differences but don't rip the fabric apart.
We are now in a state that I believe we have never been, where there is a state of hate. Anti-Semitic community. 83 percent increase. One of the largest percent increases of violence and hostility and harassment against any group is against Jewish people in this state. So yes, I am going to go to Israel as a solidarity mission. It is personal to me. I am a lifelong New Yorker. I grew up with the Jewish community. They are my best friends. Their culture is my culture. I have two brothers-in-law who are both Jewish and I see the pain they are going through, and my nieces are going through and my mother is going through. I believe it is personal to every New York family. I believe if you are a New Yorker the affinity with the Jewish community is inseparable and inarguable. So I am going to Israel as a sign of solidarity. I have been there many times before. Again, not that I agree with Israel on everything politically, Not that we are supposed to agree with everyone politically on everything. But you do not take it to the level of hate or violence. Also, last point. I challenge every politician in this country - from President Trump on down - to disavow these neo-Nazi groups. They are domestic terrorists. That is what they are. When the President said in Charlottesville "there are good people on both sides of the issue," no there are no good neo-Nazis. There are no good white supremacists. That is repugnant to the concept of America.
We have fostered these neo-Nazi groups, these domestic terrorist groups, because we have said "well that is your first amendment right. This is part of the American debate." No. Hate crimes are illegal. It is not just immoral. It is not just unethical. It is not just wrong. It is illegal. President Trump: disavow the neo-Nazi groups. If you won't disavow them, then you should be held responsible for them. I don't care if you are a Democrat or a Republican. Disavow these neo-Nazi groups. And every voter every citizen should walk up to every elected official and say, "do you disavow the neo-Nazi groups?" And when they say, "well no, we have to be careful," that answer is a no; it's yes or it's no.