A month after a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville turned violent, California is sending a powerful message to Washington that Donald Trump’s response to the racially driven terror attack is unacceptable.
A new resolution passed by the lower house of the California legislature is asking the U.S. Congress to formally censure Trump, with one lawmaker in the state saying, “We will no longer tolerate his behavior.”
“The leader of the free world can’t continue to use language that legitimizes the actions of extremists groups that promote hate,” Assemblymember Tony Thurmond said in the statement. “Congress must exercise its power to check the president by voting for his immediate censure.”
In the unlikely scenario that a Republican-controlled Congress would censure the current president, it would make Trump the first occupant of the Oval Office to be censured since 1834, though Congress eventually expunged the censure three years later.
According to The Hill, California is asking other states to join them in passing similar measures and to urge the president to “publicly apologize to all Americans for his racist and bigoted behavior.”
The bill passed in California comes after the president signed a resolution of his own condemning the attacks in Charlottesville. During the signing of the measure, though, Trump again refused to name specific hate groups and instead chose to denounce “racism in all forms.”
“We condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms,” Trump said on Thursday.
A mere hours before that, Trump doubled down on earlier off-the-cuff comments he made about Charlottesville, saying that both sides share the blame for the violence.
“You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also,” Trump said, again equivocating counterprotesters with white supremacists. “When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee Trump may have a point.'”
No, Donald Trump has no point, but the state of California certainly does. It’s time for Congress to act to hold this president accountable.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.