Speeches

CHARLOTTESVILLE ATTACKS, MONDAY, 14 AUGUST, 2017

August 14, 2017

DR ANNE ALY MP

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR COWAN

 

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS, CHARLOTTESVILLE ATTACKS

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

MONDAY, 14 AUGUST 2017

 

I rise to condemn the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia, which have already claimed three lives. These attacks have brought hatred and bigotry to the world stage—hatred and bigotry that has resurfaced after years in the shadows. Never in my lifetime did I expect to see the flag of white supremacy surface so brazenly. Never in my lifetime did I expect to see hundreds of white marchers with blazing torches converge with such force. I thought the world had moved on from such hatred.

It's not enough to say that this has happened somewhere far away from us and doesn't affect us. We should condemn these attacks with the same vigour that we condemn all acts of terrorism, whether they be by violent jihadists or by the violent right wing. In the immortal words of the poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran:

"… you hate one another because each of you deems himself too great to be the brother of the next man."

So we should be reminded that no one of us is better than another, no race is superior to another, no skin colour more supreme than another. We should be reminded of our shared community and our shared humanity.

Thankfully, our nation has withstood attempts by white supremacists and white nationalists to divide our society, but we are not immune to the kind of bigotry and hatred we are seeing in Charlottesville. So we should remain ever vigilant and ever cognisant of our own vulnerability to the malicious and baleful forces of bigotry and racial division and the politics of race. (Time expired)