It might have taken President Donald Trump a couple of days to call out white supremacists at the center of a violent clashes at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, but many local residents gathered at Bell Tower Park in the heart of Riverdale on Sunday to show solidarity against such hatred.
It was one of two vigils held in the greater Riverdale area this week, with a second rally taking place Monday night on West 231st Street in Kingsbridge.
U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel called the white supremacists in Charlottesville domestic terrorists.
“Calling them anything other than that is not just an affront to our values, it’s dangerous,” Engel said in a statement. “These men and women are filled with hate and have displayed a willingness to use violence as a means to push their racist, anti-Semitic beliefs. They represent the very worst of our country, and every good citizen should stand against them in this critical moment.”
In a statement Monday, Trump called racism evil. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”