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Assembly chambers (copy)

Wisconsin Assembly chambers

The Wisconsin Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to pass a resolution condemning the violence that occurred last weekend during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lawmakers voted to condemn both the violence and "the racist, intolerable views that caused that deeply tragic day." The vote followed prayers from members of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. 

"What took place there has shocked each of us, and opened our eyes to the hate that resides in far too many souls in our country," said Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna.

The views espoused by white nationalists should not be ignored, Steineke said; instead, "we must clearly, emphatically denounce" them.

The resolution condemns, by name, "white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and all those who rely on violence and hatred to advance their cause."

The vote made clear that Wisconsin lawmakers are "standing on the right side of history," said Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been quick and resolute in their condemnations of bigotry and racism.

Steineke went a step further on Wednesday, criticizing President Donald Trump for his comments placing blame for the Charlottesville violence on "both sides." Other top Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, refrained from criticizing the president. 

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.