Connecticut residents, leaders react to Charlottesville, VA violence

(WTNH) – Many people are trying to make sense of what happened in Charlottesville. Some people who know politics well are weighing in.

Khalilah Brown-Dean is a professor at Quinnipiac University. She’s from Virginia, and went to college in Charlottesville. She lived there for four years.

News 8 spoke with her over the phone on Saturday afternoon; she was on her way home from Virginia.

“Not surprising, but it’s not acceptable. If anything, is against the values that we say we hold to as a country,” she said.

Not surprising, she says, because of the climate all over the country. We’ve had heated debates in Connecticut too, though on a smaller scale. She mentions the issue of whether to change the name of Calhoun College at Yale University.

“That’s not something that’s just happening in the south, it certainly is not unique to Charlottesville,” she said. “We will see that across our country.”

Of course, we didn’t see that spark violence like in Charlottesville.

Meanwhile, Senator Richard Blumenthal condemned the violence, calling it an act of domestic terrorism.

“It was spurred and fomented by white supremacists and neo-Nazi and other hate groups that are throughout the country,” he said.

Brown-Dean says it’s important to talk about what’s happening in Charlottesville, to discuss differences, and respect. She’ll be talking about it with her students at Quinnipiac University.

“What we have to do in Connecticut and across the country is to say we value freedom,” she said.

Senator Chris Murphy released a statement on the rally in Charlottesville, saying in part:

“What has happened in Charlottesville over the last 24 hours should be a call to action for every American who has grown complacent under the assumption that our nation’s moral arc naturally bends toward inclusion and tolerance.”

News 8 also received a statement from Governor Dannel Malloy, which said in part:

“As an American, I am disgusted by the violence incited and perpetrated in Charlottesville.  The hatred and xenophobia of white nationalists is sickening, and the loss of a life is beyond tragic.”

Malloy, Blumenthal and Murphy were also critical of the President, saying he needed to do more to try to stop the hate and violence.

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