Statement from Joe Biden on the 3rd Anniversary of Right-Wing Protests in Charlottesville

Three years ago today, the world watched in horror as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and far-right extremists with torches in hand descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile that was heard in Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s. It was a moment of testing for our country, and a wake-up call to the fact that hate never dies — it only hides. And when our leaders give it oxygen, it can come roaring back to life.

What happened next is seared in all our memories — a violent clash between the white nationalists and those who came together to stand against hate. Tragically, a brave young woman lost her life.

And then our president claimed that there were “very fine people on both sides.” Donald Trump had the audacity to assign moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those who stood against it.

I knew then that we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. And I knew then that I could not stand by and let Donald Trump destroy the core values of this nation. Now, three years later, we can see even more clearly that everything that has made America, America, is at stake.

Despite our imperfections as a nation, the American people have never given up or walked away from the founding ideals of our nation: that everyone is entitled to be treated equally and with dignity and respect. That is who we are. And together, we are far more powerful than the hatred we saw on that dark day three years ago, and in so many acts of hatred and violence since.

As we look ahead to the choice we must make as a country this November, let Charlottesville be a reminder of the national imperative we all share: to weed out the division that the president has created over the last four years and to come together — as one America. If we give Donald Trump four more years in office, he may irreparably damage the character of this nation and our very democracy. We cannot allow that to happen, and with Senator Kamala Harris standing as my running mate, I know that we will succeed in defeating Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

The American people will choose unity over division, hope over fear, and truth over lies. Let’s remind ourselves and the rest of the world exactly who we are and who we aspire to be.