The Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, and the Suffolk County Board of Rabbis stand together with all people of goodwill to denounce the racist and hate-filled actions and words witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia [“Rally in Virginia turns violent,” News, Aug. 13].

We urge our Suffolk County community and our nation to stand strong against the modern-day rising of white nationalist organizations, and say no to hate!

When radical “nationalists” rallied behind Adolf Hitler and supported the systematic extermination of more than 6 million Jews and millions of others deemed undeserving to exist, much of the world stood silent. From the Holocaust, the world learned harsh lessons about the impact of bystanders and up standers. We continue to learn the lesson of silence every day as we still witness genocides throughout the world.

It is time to speak out and stand tall.

Rabbi Steven Moss, Islip

Editors’ note: The writer is chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission.

President Donald Trump asserted that “very fine people” joined the rally of the white supremacists [“Defending his response,” News, Aug. 16]. Does he realize that Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee wrote, “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”

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Ergo, Lee said, keeping blacks enslaved was doing God’s work. Is this a message Trump wants to preserve? Fine people would object.

Arnold Holtzman, Plainview

Let’s agree that white supremacists are evil and no one should condone them. However, whether you like it or not, they were granted a permit to march and rally, their rights under the First Amendment.

However, the opposing group acted improperly when it attacked the white supremacists, causing mayhem. The opposing group had the right to rally, as well, but its members acted illegally without a permit. This is what President Donald Trump tried to explain.

As a black American, I understand that the First Amendment does not give those with opposing views the right to attack and beat people they disagree with.

David Duchatellier, Elmont