Today, the New York Daily News published an op-ed by Governor Cuomo about the hate and violence that has emerged in the wake of the events that unfolded in Charlottesville last weekend. The text of that op-ed is available below and can be viewed online here.
In the wake of the hateful language used and violence perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville this weekend and the resulting emboldening of their voices, my fellow New Yorkers and I have a simple message: No.
No, President Trump, there can be no moral equivalence between white nationalists and activists who protest against racism.
No, there aren't any "very fine" white supremacists. No "very fine" person marches beneath Nazi banners and no "very fine" person screams for "blood and soil."
No, there are not "many sides" to the violence in Charlottesville. Hate has no sides, and violence has no place. The actions and speech of white nationalists, Nazis and KKK members are a poison to the soul of our country and serve only to diminish us as a nation.
No, it is not acceptable to wait days to denounce the symbols of hate, racism and bigotry held up on flags and banners on our American streets - symbols that are agonizingly painful for so many Americans, and so many people around the world.
No, we cannot ignore the murder of Heather Heyer. We must, in fact, call it what it is: an act of terrorism that took the life of a peaceful protester who came together in solidarity with her fellow Americans to denounce racism.
No, it is not acceptable to return to our great state of New York, a state founded on the values of equality and justice, the birthplace of the NAACP, to reiterate and intensify your statements of hateful sympathy for hateful people.
No, we will not allow anyone to pit us against one another - not when we know that it is our togetherness and unity that will bring forth a future worthy of the people of this country.
We will take action. In the immediate wake of the violence in Charlottesville, I announced the Charlottesville provisions, which reaffirm New York's commitment to never tolerate the advocacy or the incitement of imminent violence against protected classes within our communities.
Such crimes would be added to the list of specified offenses under the state's hate crimes law. Inciting to riot, a misdemeanor, would become a felony when committed with discriminatory aims. This legislation will help protect New Yorkers and sends a clear signal to the country that violence and discrimination have no place in our society.
New York has long understood that our diversity is our strength, and that we are only able to be who we are because of the breadth and range of our ethnic and cultural make-up.
More than 50,000 New Yorkers - more people than from any other state - died serving in the Civil War, the war that was fought to preserve the union and to prevent a new nation built on the foundation of race-based slavery from arising in America.
More than 37,000 New Yorkers - again, more than from any other state - died in the campaigns to defeat the Axis powers, principally Nazi Germany and its evil ideology of racial superiority.
That is the sacrifice we have made for the values of America. It is our legacy, and we will never relinquish it.
White supremacy and white nationalism contradict our core American values. Those who carry the torch for those supposed causes, who feel empowered, need to understand that our country does not stand with them. We will not allow white supremacist David Duke and the organizers of the white nationalist rally, Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, to inject their hatred into the mainstream.
Instead we choose to carry the torches of those who fought for equality and fairness: Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and Andrew Goodman. We choose to carry the torch that Lady Liberty hoists and we clearly say: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
On the day this is no longer true, we will have lost sight of who we are. It is that torch that stands in our harbor, and after the events in Charlottesville we are going to fight to make sure that her torch is the one our nation looks to and is burning brighter than ever before.
If a model of inclusion for the country is needed, look no further than New York. We will lead now and always.
Cuomo is governor of New York.
French TranslationTraduction française
Haitian-Creole TranslationTradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen
Italian TranslationTraduzione italiana
Korean Translation한국어 번역
Russian TranslationПеревод на русский язык
Spanish TranslationTraducción al español