Senate: Hate groups are terrorists


“Radical hate groups” are domestic terrorist organizations, according to a resolution adopted Wednesday by the Michigan Senate.

The Democrat-sponsored resolution, taken up by the Republican-led Senate on the first day of fall session, specifically denounces white nationalists and neo-Nazis following a deadly clash last month in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The non-binding resolution does not carry the weight of law, but it will be sent to President Donald Trump, Gov. Rick Snyder and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation.

“Today, we’ve shown there are not two sides,” said sponsoring Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, alluding to Trump’s assertion that “both sides” deserved some blame for the violence in Charlottesville. “There is just one side -- that Nazism, racism, fascism are all evil. Period.”

The resolution also takes aim at the “Alt-Right,” asserting that white nationalists have tried to reinvent themselves under a new banner but continue to conjure “painful memories of our nation’s past.”

Separately, the Senate also adopted a bipartisan compact to unite against “hate, bigotry and all forms of extremism.” It was developed by Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, and Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, who is expected to introduce a House version next week.

“As leaders of our communities we must stand together to make it known that hate has no place in our state,” O’Brien said on the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said he does not view the Hertel and O’Brien resolutions as direct messages to Trump. Instead, they both emphasize the importance of civility, he said.

“In our discourse, if we disagree, it doesn’t mean we have to be disagreeable,” Meekhof told reporters. “I think they’re both trying to reach for that in different ways.”