Senate approves measure condemning white nationalists

WASHINGTON — The Senate has approved a resolution condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups following a white-nationalist rally in Virginia that descended into deadly violence.

Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia introduced the measure along with four colleagues from both parties. The resolution, approved unanimously Monday night, recognizes a woman who was killed Aug. 12 and 19 other people who were injured after a car allegedly driven by a neo-Nazi slammed into a crowd of demonstrators protesting the rally in Charlottesville.

The resolution describes Heather Heyer's death as a "domestic terrorist attack" and acknowledges two Virginia state troopers who died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the protests.

The resolution urges President Donald Trump and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy. It also calls on the Justice Department and other federal agencies to "use all resources available" to improve data collection on hate crimes and "address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States."

The joint resolution now goes to the House, where identical language has been introduced by Virginia Reps. Tom Garrett and Gerry Connolly with support from the entire Virginia House delegation. If adopted by both chambers, the resolution would go to the president.

Trump has been criticized for his response following the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the city's planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Trump asserted there were good people on "both sides" of the Charlottesville rally and bemoaned rising efforts to remove Confederate monuments as an attack on America's "history and culture."

The joint resolution is supported by a range of civil rights groups, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

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