Those words tumbled out of my mouth in a dumbfounded mutter after seeing the amazingly shocking images of Saturday's hate attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. But in this age of instant-everywhere video access, it wasn't the moving images of the Nazi-fueled hate that captivated me.
It was the still images. Chills ran up and down my spine.
The photo of the man punching another man in the back of the head. The pepper-spray attack. The man tossing a newspaper box. The guy making a slashing motion across his throat toward counter-protesters.
Then, of course, there were the gut-wrenching images of bodies flying after the car crash. Sickening. Keep in mind, I'm no stranger to disturbingly violent images.
As a former newspaper editor and reporter, I've seen plenty. But these hurt in ways that I haven't felt in years. It's different to see a body of a war victim overseas. It's quite another thing entirely to see bloodshed on Main Street America.
This was domestic terrorism, no doubt. But I didn't get that feeling from the reaction I saw from President Trump about "many sides" being involved.
Look, I understand it was kind of hard to sort out what happened as soon as it happened. But it became clear shortly into the news cycle that none of this wouldn't have happened if the haters just stayed away.
That said, I was comforted by the tweet from Sen. Orrin Hatch: "My brother didn't die fighting Hitler for Nazis to go unchallenged today." As a Central Florida resident, I also appreciated the tweet from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer: "Terrible to see the events happening in Charlottesville. Violence, racism, and hatred have no place in our nation."
As a former journalist, I've been suspicious in the past of such messages during national or international tragedies.
They seemed self-serving. But in this case, I really appreciated the statements. I wanted to hear more from my elected officials, especially since the one at the top didn't really nail it right out of the box. I need to know where my leaders stand on hate.
Right now. There wasn't any gray area to get bogged down in with this attack.
Denounce it now.
I know I would have been right there, tweeting up a firestorm against hate so there is absolutely no confusion. I'm against it and I want you to stand up against it with me. That brings me to my local leaders, my city council members and county officials.
Maybe you said something and I missed it. But say it again and say it often. When the Commander in Chief can't say or won't say it clearly enough, you need to stand up and say it for them. Hate kills. Say it now. Say it often.