16 Members of White House Arts Committee Resign to Protest Trump

Sixteen prominent artists, authors, performers and architects resigned on Friday from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the latest group to protest Donald J. Trump’s defense of white nationalists after the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Trump, the committee members blasted his “hateful rhetoric.”

“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 letter says. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand.”

The letter’s signatories include the artist Chuck Close, the author Jhumpa Lahiri, the architect Thom Mayne and the “Jersey Boys” actor John Lloyd Young. The Washington Post first reported that the committee members were resigning.

“We know the importance of open and free dialogue through our work in the cultural diplomacy realm,” the letter adds. “Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.”

“Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values,” it concludes. “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.”

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