Message from the Chair of the Board of Orange County Commissioners to the citizens of Orange County:
On behalf of all people of Orange County, we offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville over the past weekend. As a community, we are grieving and beginning to heal. We stand with Mayor Michael Signer and the city of Charlottesville in denouncing white supremacy, neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate and groups who dedicate themselves to hatred. I have communicated with my fellow Commissioners, and we could not be more unequivocal: these groups have no place in our society.
The scenes of violence, torch and gun-bearing protestors, and the shameless display of KKK and Nazi symbols were terrifying, intended to intimidate, and un-American. The terrorism and hatred we saw on display in Charlottesville is not new, and will continue unless we all rededicate ourselves to the challenging task of dismantling structural inequality and institutional discrimination.
Orange County celebrates difference. We celebrate inclusion and diversity, and believe it is the foundation of the strength of our community. This is our character, and throughout the years we’ve watched this character be manifested in peaceful vigils and opportunities for dialogue. Our community has have never been afraid to use sit-ins, demonstrations, and marches to protest everything from segregation to HB2. We raise our voices against hate. We raise our voices for peace.
Every one of us has the responsibility to uphold our shared values. Together, we make Orange County a place where great ideas can be shared, and debated, and where all of us feel safe, free to be proudly who we are.
Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners
August 17, 2017
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