"Racism is evil," Rex Tillerson said
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, photo: AP/Susan Walsh, photo: AP/Susan Walsh
18 of August 2017 12:32:54
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday condemned hate speech and bigotry as antithetical to the values on which the U.S. was founded and promotes abroad. He also lamented a lack of diversity in the U.S. diplomatic corps and pledged to increase minority hiring.In his most extensive comments on race and diversity since last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the ensuing rhetorical fallout that has embroiled the country, Tillerson called racism "evil." He said freedom of speech is sacrosanct but that those who promote hate poison the public discourse and damage the country."Hate is not an American value," he told interns and young State Department staffers, including minorities involved in special recruiting programs. "We do not honor, nor do we promote or accept hate speech in any form and those who embrace it poison our public discourse and they damage the very country that they claim to love.""Racism is evil," Tillerson said. "It is antithetical to America's values, it is antithetical to the American idea." He then quoted George Washington speaking to a synagogue about the dangers of discrimination and Abraham Lincoln speaking about the need to unite the nation.