"We talked a lot on this floor about wrongs that have happened in the past and that we are at an intersection of history right here in this moment in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 400 years since the meeting of this General Assembly in 1619 and 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought here to the Commonwealth of Virginia in Hampton and Point Comfort. And those are the two strands that run through the veins the Commonwealth Virginia and through this nation for those four centuries, and those are the two demons that we have had to battle and choose which course we are going to take. And in this moment, we have to decide what the next four hundred years look like and if we go backwards in a rush to judgment, if we eliminate due process, which is brought to the states by the 14th Amendment. Ironically, in this case, a post Civil War amendment, the 13th 14th and 15th Amendments meant to give, finally, rights and due process to people who had been denied it of their entire existence on this soil. If we go backwards, and we rush to judgment and we allow for political lynchings without any due process, any facts and the evidence being heard then I think we do a disservice to this very body in which we all serve.
I've heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate where people were not given any due process, whatsoever. And we do that, we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices, and yet we stand here in a rush to judgment with nothing but accusations and no facts and we decide that we are willing to do the same thing. So, I trust in my God, I trust in the fairness of each one of you, I trust in your good hearts and this is much bigger than me, I can assure you, much bigger than me. And I am very hopeful and I believe very firmly that we will get to a better place and rise the better angels of our nature. And should anyone decide that they desire to see a downfall of me or the Constitution or of victims or anyone else, I would just ask that you look and reflect and think about who you are, think about who we are and think about who we want to be and I promise you, if we do that we will end up in the right place. So God bless you all. Thank you very much. I'm proud of every single one of you."
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