A Democratic delegate for Virginia disrupted President Donald Trump's speech at the 400th anniversary of the rise of American democracy on Tuesday and held up signs that said "Deport Hate," "Reunite My Family" and "Go Back to Your Corrupted Home."
Muslim state lawmaker Del. Ibraheem Samirah stood and held the laminated signs as Trump spoke at the Jamestown commemoration for the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere.
Some members of the crowd chanted "Trump, Trump, Trump," as Samirah was led out of the speech site, a tent on the lawn of a history museum near the site of the original Jamestown colony.
"I just disrupted the @realDonaldTrump speech in Jamestown because nobody's racism and bigotry should be excused for the sake of being polite," Samirah said on Twitter. "The man is unfit for office and unfit to partake in a celebration of democracy, representation, and our nation's history of immigrants."
Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox said shortly after the incident that he was disappointed by the outburst. He called it "inconsistent with common decency and a violation of the rules of the House."
In a press release, Samirah's communications office said the delegate "disrupted the Jamestown event because he refused to sit idly by while President Donald Trump, a beacon of hate speech and harmful policy, hijacks a celebration of democratic values he doesn't even hold."
"The fact that the racist-in-chief, who so openly stokes hate against immigrants, was even invited to this event is insulting to Virginians and insulting to the history of our Commonwealth's democracy," Samirah said in the release.
Samirah condemned Virginia's Republican General Assembly in his statement.
"They say that it's disrespectful - that it's impolite - to disrupt this celebration. But we saw the GOP's deep disrespect for the people of Virginia when they only entertained 90 minutes of work in our special session on gun violence prevention, choosing gun lobbyists over Virginian lives," he said.
The Republican Party of Virginia released a statement about the incident titled "Anti-Semite Democrat Delegate Disrupts 400th Anniversary Celebration of Jamestown." The statement references comments and Facebook posts Samirah made in 2014, criticizing Israel and defending Egyptian protesters and Palestine.
One of the Facebook posts tells Ariel Sharon, the Israeli general and former Prime Minister who died in 2014, to "burn a million times for every innocent soul you killed." Another post agrees with Brian Eno, a British musician, in his 2014 statement that funding Israel is like "sending money to the KKK."
Samirah won a special election earlier this year to represent the 86th district of Virginia, which contains parts of Loudoun and Fairfax County. During his campaign, he was criticized for anti-Israel comments.
He has since apologized for the posts and condemned anti-Semitism. The Republican Party of Virginia statement does not mention the apology.
"Delegate Samirah's outburst was nothing more than childish frustration over Hillary Clinton's loss," RPV Chariman Jack Wilson said in the statement. "If the Democrats wanted someone to protest this historic, bipartisan event, maybe they should not have picked an anti-Semite. Ibraheem Samirah is a disgrace to Virginia and should resign."
The last-minute announcement last week that the president would participate in the Jamestown comemmoration ceremony injected tension into an event years in the making.
Demonstrators gathered Tuesday morning near the site where Trump was to speak, and the black caucus condemned the president's participation. Several black legislators announced that they would boycott the event.
Ahead of his speech, Trump said the black legislators who announced the boycott were going "against their own people," claiming African Americans "love the job" he's doing.