CEOs resigned from Trump’s business advisory councils one after another in the wake of his remarks on Charlottesville.
Here are eight forceful statements that business leaders issued following their resignations or after Trump dissolved the councils.
Ken Frazier, Merck
Our country’s strength comes from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs. America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal. As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.
Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase
Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong. The equal treatment of all people is one of our nation’s bedrock principles. There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and community.
As a company and for all business in general, it is critical that we help develop rational, intelligent policies to help expand opportunities for all our citizens. I know that times are tough for many. The lack of economic growth and opportunity has led to deep and understandable frustration among so many Americans. But fanning divisiveness is not answer. Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country. It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart.
Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Co.
Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the president should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point.
Brian Krzanich, Intel
We should honor — not attack — those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values.
My request — my plea — to everyone involved in our political system is this: set scoring political points aside and focus on what is best for the nation as a whole. The current environment must change, or else our nation will become a shadow of what it once was and what it still can and should be.
Richard Trumka and Thea Lee, AFL-CIO
We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. President Trump’s remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups.
From hollow councils to bad policy and embracing bigotry, the actions of this administration have consistently failed working people.
Greg Hayes, United Technologies
As the events of last week have unfolded in the U.S., it is clear that we need to collectively stand together and denounce politics of hate, intolerance and racism. The values that are the cornerstone of our culture: tolerance, empathy and trust, must be reaffirmed by our actions every day.
Mary Barra, General Motors
Recent events, particularly those in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its aftermath, require that we come together as a country and reinforce values and ideals that unite us — tolerance, inclusion and diversity — and speak against those which divide us — racism, bigotry and any politics based on ethnicity.
Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
The President’s most recent statements equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred is unacceptable and has changed our decision to participate in the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comments from more business leaders.