In a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump equating white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend with counter-protesters who demonstrated against bigotry, all members of the president’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities announced their resignations Friday—and urged Trump to do the same.
“The false equivalencies you push cannot stand. We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” wrote the group of 17 visual artists, writers, musicians, and other influential figures in the arts.
“Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions.”—President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities
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“Elevating any group that threatens and discriminates on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, orientation, background, or identity is un-American,” the group’s resignation letter continued. “Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions.”
The members also noted that the president has undermined the very purpose of the arts committee by threatening to cut funding for the arts and humanities.
“Art is about inclusion. Humanities includes a vibrant free press. You have attacked both,” they wrote.
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