Like so many of you I have been heartbroken, appalled, and angered by the events in Charlottesville this weekend and by President Trump’s inexcusable defense of white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis.
In Charlottesville, a young woman was murdered, while others are fighting for their lives or are forever changed.
As a nation, we are left to grieve both the loss of life and the loss of a piece of the ideals of liberty and equality that define who we strive to be as a people.
Heather Heyer was not the first American to have their future stolen because they chose to stand against hatred and bigotry in this country.
Generations of Americans have struggled and shed blood for the progress that we sometimes take for granted, but the events of the past week have served as yet another reminder that the work of perfecting our union and banishing hate from our public life is never over.
For me, that pain is intensified by my own experiences with racism that have left scars on my heart that are too easily re-opened when I hear the President of the United States declare that there were some “very fine people” among the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to Charlottesville specifically to incite violence.
However, I have found hope in you, my fellow Americans and North Texans. I am reminded that people of all races gave me a chance to chase my dreams growing up here in Dallas even though I didn’t always look like you or share your every viewpoint.
I am reminded of the coach who pulled me aside and imparted some of his wisdom, of the teacher who stayed late to help me master a subject, of the YMCA counselor who took it upon himself to help a kid who didn’t know his father find his way. I am reminded, in short, of who we really are as Texans and Americans.
I have the blood of a former Governor of Texas and of slaves flowing in my veins. Neither could have imagined the opportunities the people of North Texas would give me. What is unmistakably clear to me is that Donald Trump doesn’t know the America that I know. He doesn’t know the kindness, the selflessness, or the capacity for empathy I saw growing up here.
You are why I am running for Congress, to make sure that who we really are is being represented in Washington.
We can do so much better than what we have seen, not only from this President, but also from the tepid response of this Congress — including Pete Sessions — who has refused to repudiate Trump’s defense of white supremacists.
In 2018, we must restore the fundamental values we hold dear as Americans by replacing the leaders who have failed to defend them.
This is no longer just about politics, this is about who we are as a people and the future we want for our children and for our country. Together, we can bring about the change we need.
Thank you, Colin