Virginia Del. Ibraheem Samirah, a Democrat who lives in Herndon and represents the 86th District, stole the national spotlight from Donald Trump on Tuesday during the president’s speech to the Virginia General Assembly in Jamestown.

While Trump was talking, Samirah stood up and shouted: “Can’t send us back. Virginia is our home.” He held up signs that read: “Go Back To Your Corrupted Home,” Deport Hate,” and Reunite My Family and all shattered by systemic discrimination.”

The media picked up the story and Samirah got his message – his reaction to recent comments by Trump about four Democratic women in Congress and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings — out to the world.

The heckling was a bold move by this new member of the House of Delegates. But it was also rude. Samirah took advantage of his status at this invitation-only event to draw attention to his protest.

His wasn’t the only protest by state lawmakers on Tuesday. While the ceremony was underway in Jamestown, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus boycotted the event. Its members drew media attention as they gathered in Richmond to protest Trump’s attacks on black legislators and black communities.

It’s such a shame that a celebration of democracy in Virginia has fallen victim to a political war that has divided our nation. Hateful words – tweeted or spoken – and lack of civility on both sides of the political aisle are hurting America.