Donald Trump’s response to the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA, has brought a lot of criticism to him and his administration. Several members of his business advisory councils resigned in protest prompting Trump to disband them. Now, The Washington Post reports that the last members of his presidential arts and humanities panel have resigned in protest of the president.
The panel, which includes representatives from Hollywood, Broadway, and other cultural centers, was first established by Ronald Regan in 1982. While this panel, and others like it, have no formal power they do serve to advise the president on various matters. Beyond that, the arts commission has three main duties. The first is overseeing a program called Turnaround Arts which is meant to promote art classes in urban and rural schools which often do not have such programs. The second duty of this panel is to use art to help spur economic growth and their third role is as cultural diplomats. For example, members of the panel recently went to Cuba to meet with some of the country’s art community.
In a letter sent to the president, the members of the group said that Trump’s “words and actions” push Americans away from the freedoms that they are guaranteed.
‘Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.
Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville. The false equivalencies you push cannot stand. The Administration’s refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill. We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions.
Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.’
The panel mainly consists of holdovers from the Obama-era organization. Many of them resigned upon Trump’s victory, but several decided to stay on until Trump found replacements. However, Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville appears to be a bridge too far.
The full letter can be read below.
Featured image via Getty Images.