President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Resigns in Trump Charlottesville Backlash

kal penn and donald trump split -Getty-H 2017
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"The false equivalencies you push cannot stand," said members of the committee, including Kal Penn, in a letter to the president.

The President's Committee on the Arts & the Humanities submitted a resignation letter to Donald Trump on Friday, in the wake of his reaction to the violent Charlottesville events from last weekend.

The 17-member committee is an official White House agency and includes actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and lawyer Vicki Kennedy, Sen. Ted Kennedy's widow.

"The false equivalencies you push cannot stand," wrote the committee members, presumably referring to Trump saying that both the white supremacists and the counterprotestors are to blame for Charlottesville. "We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions." The letter states that ignoring Trump's "hateful rhetoric" would have made the committee complicit with Trump's words and actions.

The committee was appointed by former President Barack Obama and hasn't met yet under Trump, but Politico reports it has continued to work on its programming.

“You released a budget which eliminates arts and culture agencies. You have threatened nuclear war while gutting diplomacy funding," the letter continued. "The administration pulled out of the Paris Agreement, filed an amicus brief undermining the Civil Rights Act and attacked our brave trans service members. You have subverted equal protections, and are committed to banning Muslims and refugee women & children from our great country."

In conclusion, the letter states that "Supremacy, discrimination and vitriol are not American values." It ends by calling on Trump to resign his office if this isn't clear to him.

Texas Law professor Steve Vladeck pointed out on Twitter that the first letter of each paragraph of the letter spells out "resist."