In contrast with United States President Donald Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strongly condemned racism, announcing that hatred is not an American value and further promised to make his department "more racially diverse."
" Racism is evil, it is antithetical to America's values, it is antithetical to the American idea," Tillerson said.
"Those who embrace it poison our public discourse and they damage the very country that they claim to love. So we condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms," Tillerson said.
Tillerson did not explicitly mention Charlottesville, but said that the events of the past week had raised the issues of racial diversity in the workplace and that he wanted to address the topic.
In a speech announcing a new effort to expand diversity at the State Department, Tillerson said diversity would be an important part of his plans to reorganise the department and noted that only about 12 per cent of senior foreign service officers are non-white.
"We need a more deliberate process to cultivate the abundance of minority talent we already have in the State Department," the top U.S. diplomat said, during his speech at the State Department.
Tillerson drew on the U.S. history to illustrate that a commitment to the diversity, tolerance and acceptance was embedded in the country's origins and was part of its founders' vision.
He quoted an address that George Washington, the nation's first president, delivered at a synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Tillerson said Washington told the gathered crowd that his vision for the new country was "a government which to bigotry gives no sanction; to persecution, no assistance," CNN reported.