Two area GOP congressmen are sounding off on last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va., and President Donald Trump's statements about it. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, has been on duty with the Air National Guard and Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, has been traveling in Israel and Lebanon as part of a congressional delegation this past week.

"Throughout our history, we have faced moments that defined a generation and set a precedent for what we stand for as a nation. Today, we are faced with such a moment to either stand up and speak out against hate, violence, bigotry, and racism or to stay silent and bury our head in the sand hiding from what is happening on our streets. I choose to forcefully stand against this evil, against this hate, against the White Nationalist, KKK, Neo-Nazi vile bigotry displayed in Charlottesville and everywhere else in this country. It is against all that we stand for, and America is better than this.

"In this moment, we need bravery, we need leadership, and we need a President who unites the people of this country. Instead, with his remarks this week, President Trump has furthered the divide and downplayed the morally repugnant hate on display this past weekend.

"It's time to stand up, speak out, and unify our country. We owe it to ourselves, to our future generations, and to the generations before us who fought against such hate." — Kinzinger


"The developments out of Charlottesville over the weekend and the reactions that have followed have been disheartening to say the least. I stand firmly against any bigotry and hatred that comes forth in our communities.

The Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, white supremacists or other groups that espouse hate and violence have no place in our free society. And as the representative of the same congressional district as Abraham Lincoln, let me be clear — these groups also have no place in the party of Lincoln or any party for that matter. These are not the values or principles those of us throughout central and west-central Illinois and the Midwest share and hold so dearly.

When evil feels emboldened to emerge from the shadows and threaten the unalienable rights upon which this nation was founded — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — we must always stand united, regardless of race or party affiliation, to condemn these hateful actions.” — LaHood