JCRC Appalled by President Trump’s False Moral Equivalency Between the Violent, Racist, and Anti-Semitic White Nationalist Marchers and the Anti-Fascist Counter-Demonstrators

JCRC Applauds 3M CEO’s Decision to Resign from Manufacturing Jobs Initiative

August 16, 2017

Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), the public affairs voice for the Jewish community, is appalled by President Trump’s false moral equivalency between the violent, racist, and anti-Semitic white nationalist marchers who besieged the peaceful college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the counter-demonstrators, including many clergy, who risked their lives in defense of our nation’s highest ideals.

“As Representative Erik Paulsen said: ‘This is cut-and-dry: White supremacists and neo-Nazis have no place in our society & that should be made unequivocally clear on all levels.’

“Similarly, we applaud 3M CEO Inge Thulin resigning from President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. It was the right decision for it respects Minnesota’s veterans and our state’s history. Thousands of Minnesota soldiers were killed in action fighting Nazism, including my own cousin, Gerald ‘Sonny’ Cohen.

“The heroism of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg and all the Minnesota Civil War regiments fought to preserve the Union and for abolition.

“Fortunately, while the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer were eager to thank and praise the president, many elected officials from across the political spectrum were quick in their denunciation of both white nationalism and the president’s unacceptable response. Shortly after Tuesday’s press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted, ‘We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.’ Similarly, Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter, ‘Mr. President, you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame.’ Added Senator Todd Young, ‘This is simple: we must condemn and marginalize white supremacist groups, not encourage and embolden them.’ Rep. Charlie Dent went so far as to say, ‘@POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in #Charlottesville.’

“Moving beyond this nearly universal condemnation of the August 15 statements of President Trump, let use this time as a teaching opportunity for civil and human rights: Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 2018; Commemorating the centennial of the birth of Nelson Mandela in July 2018; and Remembering the 70th anniversary of Hubert Humphrey’s ‘Bright Sunshine’ speech in July 2018.”

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The JCRC… the public affairs voice of the Jewish community fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice, promoting tolerance and social justice, and representing Jews, individually and collectively, here and abroad.