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Members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned Friday over U.S. President Donald Trump’s response to the violent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Supremacy, discrimination and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values,” the members wrote in their resignation letter dated Friday.
“If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.”
The committee included private members such as actor Kal Penn, author Jhumpa Lahiri, painter and photographer Chuck Close, singer-songwriter Paula E. Boggs and theatre performer John Lloyd Young?. All of the members were holdovers from former president Barack Obama’s tenure.
Dear @realDonaldTrump, attached is our letter of resignation from the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities @PCAH_gov pic.twitter.com/eQI2HBTgXs
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) August 18, 2017
“The Administration’s refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill,” the letter reads.
“Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions. We took a patriotic oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The only private member who did not sign the resignation letter was Broadway director George C. Wolfe.
Representatives for Wolfe at Creative Arts Agency did not have any immediate comment on whether he had resigned, according to The Associated Press, and the White House also did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The arts and humanities committee was established in 1982 under former president Ronald Reagan.
The panel’s resignation follows Trump disbanding his business and manufacturing councils, after many CEOs of major American corporations announced they were leaving due to his response to the events in Charlottesville.
Trump blamed “many sides” for the demonstrations that left an anti-racism activist dead at last weekend’s “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville.