(MADISON) —  The following is a statement from DPW Chair Ben Wikler on the shooting deaths of two individuals in Kenosha, Wisconsin last night:

“We woke up this morning to the heartbreaking news of more tragedy in Kenosha. Online videos show a young man firing his gun into a crowd of protesters, killing two and injuring one. We mourn their senseless deaths, and send our prayers to their families.

“This is Trump’s America. Last night’s violence is the inevitable result of President Trump’s racist, disturbing rhetoric that has defined his time in office. Yesterday, an emboldened Kenosha militia issued a call to “take up arms.” Last night, an out-of-state gunman, Kyle Rittenhouse, did exactly that. Two human beings now lay dead.

Trump and his allies have fear-mongered andstoked hate against those standing in opposition to racism and injustice, and conflated peaceful protests with rioters. Trump egged on armed right-wing militias through calls to “liberate” states during stay-at-home orders; Trump’s Republican National Convention has speakers spreading conspiracy theories about the destruction of the suburbs; and here in Wisconsin, Republicans like Robin Vos blame Gov. Evers for protesters’ deaths while ignoring the rise of far-right hate. This is irresponsible rhetoric that has consequences.

“We can’t let Trump and his allies further divide our nation and pit us against one another. We can’t let more blood be shed. Trump depends on a broken America to win re-election in November and continue his chaotic rule, and our nation simply can’t survive another four years of his hate and vitriol.”

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