INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) issued the following statement after Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) called for the state’s first hate crimes law following the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The events that occurred this past weekend in Charlottesville were shocking and tragic. What was even more tragic was the blanket disregard shown by the President with his comments to the media, and by not immediately condemning the white nationalists, neo-Nazis and KKK members that took part in the violence, our nation has taken a step backward.
“At a time for clear condemnation of hate and violence by racists and white supremacists, instead we have a President who apologizes for such disgraces. Instead of a message of calm and inclusiveness, we have a President who divides us and endorses that division with violence.
“President Trump is not only wrong, he is failing our country. Not only is he showing a lack of leadership, but this most recent unscripted backlash toward the media for calling this tragedy what it is – racism and bigotry – signals a total lack of moral leadership.
“We in Indiana have turned our heads at these kinds of events for far too long. From racial slurs painted on Muslim and Jewish community centers to hatchet attacks of foreign exchange students, to bomb threats and acts of violence; Indiana needs to put their foot down and actively condemn these heinous acts.
“I am encouraged to hear that Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma has opened his eyes to this fact and is now calling for an Indiana hate crimes law, as the Senate Democrats have done for a number of years now.
“We in Indiana need this type of common-sense leadership coming from our elected officials because we will see none coming from this White House. We need the majority and the minority parties at the Statehouse to work together and approve a hate crimes law for the first time in Indiana.
“We need leadership, and we need it now. I know Senate Democrats will be ready and willing to work with the majority on legislation that protects everyone and appropriately punishes those that commit atrocious hate crimes like what occurred in Charlottesville, as well as those that have been committed right here at home.”