Rise in resignations, cancelations at president’s resort reflect growing protest against response to hate rally
All the members of a presidential advisory panel on the arts and humanities resigned Friday in protest of President Donald Trump's response to a deadly hate rally in Virginia last week.
"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," the group of prominent artists, authors, performers and architects said in a statement. "If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too."
The 17-member group were all appointed by former President Barack Obama and said they have never convened under Trump.
The move is the latest in the fallout Trump faces after he said all sides were to blame for the violence that killed a counter-protester at the rally that united neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists in Charlottesville that is thought to be the largest such demonstration in about a decade.
Trump then doubled down on those comments by voicing support for Confederate statues -- symbols of racism and hatred for many and the focal point of the rally.
Earlier this week, Trump disbanded two separate business advisory councils after eight prominent CEOs resigned from one in response to his remarks.
And eight of the country’s largest charities, including the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization, canceled plans to hold events at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
“We cannot host our annual fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago, as it has increasingly become a source of controversy and pain for many of our volunteers, employees and supporters,” the Red Cross said in a statement Friday.
Hoping to prevent a repeat of the violence in Virginia, many cities have begun to remove or consider the removal of Confederate statues from their public places.
The New York public transportation authority, decided Friday to replace tiles in its Times Square subway station that resemble Confederate flags.
"These are not Confederate flags, it is a design based on geometric forms that represent the ‘Crossroads of the World,’” Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in a statement.
“To avoid absolutely any confusion, we will modify them to make that absolutely crystal clear.”