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Writers Guild of America West Leaders Blast Trump for ‘Vile Display of Prejudice’

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America West have denounced President Donald Trump for retweeting violent anti-Muslim videos by leaders of a British hate group.

In a letter to members, the WGA West leaders said that “the vile display of naked prejudice reached another low” as part of a letter sent to the 10,000 members of the Los Angeles-based guild. The letter, which said “First Amendment Under Attack” in the subject line, was signed by WGA West president David A. Goodman, vice president Marjorie David, secretary-treasurer Aaron Mendelsohn, and executive director David Young.

“As the officers and executive director of a union devoted to the well-being of writers, we have watched, appalled, as our current administration tramples on every principle of justice and truth we hold dear,” the letter began. “The question for us, always, is when to speak out. What is the ‘right time’ when lies are paraded as truth; when racists are praised for their decency; when the press is derided as ‘fake;’ when a child molester is endorsed to smooth the way for an unfair tax cut? If we made a statement each time, we’d be writing to you every day.”

The WGA West leaders last blasted Trump by issuing a stinging condemnation of the President for failing to sufficiently condemn white nationalism and neo-Nazis following Trump blaming “both sides” for the violence at a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., where a woman was killed when a car drove into the crowd and 30 people were injured. “President Trump legitimizes hate speech and violence, and disgraces our nation” the guild leaders said at the time.

Read the entire letter below.

“As the officers and executive director of a union devoted to the well-being of writers, we have watched, appalled, as our current administration tramples on every principle of justice and truth we hold dear. The question for us, always, is when to speak out. What is the ‘right time’ when lies are paraded as truth; when racists are praised for their decency; when the press is derided as ‘fake;’ when a child molester is endorsed to smooth the way for an unfair tax cut? If we made a statement each time, we’d be writing to you every day.

“Today, though, the vile display of naked prejudice reached another low. The President of the United States tweeted hate videos published by a far right group in England. Subsequent to that, the White House justified it, claiming that it isn’t clear whether these terrible videos are even real, but stressing that the ‘threat’ is genuine. In other words, Muslims, simply by existing, are a threat. Even writing such a sentence is nauseating.

“First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom, freedom of the press and freedom of speech are under attack in ways many of us would not have believed possible before last year. It is hard to know what to do, since even reasoned argument is demeaned and discredited. We have to believe that affirming our beliefs might at least help to undermine the assault.

“It is our obligation as writers and as Americans to stand up for the freedoms we have all fought to maintain. One way to do so is to make it clear that the actions of this administration and those that aid and abet it are intolerable. We will not be quiet or stand down in the face of the erosion of religious freedom, of freedom of the press, of the basic responsibility of our government to avoid lying to us as if the U.S. were a totalitarian dictatorship.

“We know the damage words can do. We know the strength of words to fight lies. We pledge to fight those lies and to march to support First Amendment rights in our work and in our lives.”

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