The PCAH Mass Resignation Letter Is More Patriotic Than Anything Trump’s Ever Done

Members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities are taking a strong stance against Trump for his hate-mongering, with a mass resignation issued in a joint letter this morning. “We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” it writes.

The committee, established in 1982, advises the White House on cultural issues. The letter explains, “We were hopeful that continuing to serve in the PCAH would allow us to focus on the important work the committee does with your federal partners and the private sector to address, initiate, and support key policies and programs in the arts and humanities for all Americans.”

However, in light of Trump’s inaction and lack of condemnation for the hate that drove the white nationalists in Charlottesville, they group issued the letter “[effective] immediately.” “Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions,” it states.

Members include artist Chuck Close, actor Kal Penn, writer Jhumpa Lahiri, and others dedicated to promoting arts and culture. The 17 members were appointed by President Obama, and Politico points out that they haven’t yet met under Trump. The letter is truly a thing of beauty, and waking up feeling like I was screaming into the void of an apathetic, uncaring universe tearing apart my nation, it provided a small bit of hope and solace to hear an official agency condemn Trump in such powerful and true rhetoric.

Please read the whole thing, as it speaks to everything we feel when we see his terrible news conferences and goes into strong detail about ways that Trump has undone and actively gone against the important work the committee promotes. The PCAH cites their patriotic oath, and in their resignation they uphold it. This passage, especially, really says it all:

Speaking truth to power is never easy, Mr. President. But it is our role as commissioners on the PCAH to do so. Art is about inclusion. The Humanities include a vibrant free press. You have attacked both. You released a budget which eliminates arts and culture agencies. You have threatened nuclear war while gutting diplomacy funding. 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. This does not unify the nation we all love.

It ends: 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.”

[UPDATE 8/18/17 12:09 PM] If you didn’t think this could be any better, the first letter of each paragraph spells out “RESIST.” How did we miss that the first time around?

(Image: PCAH)

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Tags: Charlottesville, Chuck Close, donald trump, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kal Penn, President's Committee on Arts and Humanities