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In a memo to colleagues, Murdoch called the violence, in which one woman was killed and 19 others were injured after a car plowed into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, and Trump’s response to it a concern to “all of us as Americans and free people.”
“The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob,” Murdoch wrote in the strongly worded message. “I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”
Murdoch also revealed that he and his wife, Kathryn, are donating $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League in the wake of the events.
With his first statement about Charlottesville on Saturday, Trump drew ire for saying there was violence on “many sides” and failing to call out white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups by name. It took him two days to do so, issuing a statement condemning the groups on Monday.
He seemed to backtrack, however, with a combative press conference on Tuesday. Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence — and later saw several CEOs leave his Manufacturing Council, before both that group and his Strategy and Policy Forum dissolved altogether.
Read Murdoch’s full memo below.
I’m writing to you in a personal capacity, as a concerned citizen and a father. It has not been my habit to widely offer running commentary on current affairs, nor to presume to weigh in on the events of a given day save those that might be of particular or specific concern to 21CF and my colleagues. But what we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.
These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation — a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals. The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob. I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.
Diverse storytellers, and stories, can make a difference, and that diversity, around the world, is a crucial strength and an animating force in my business. Often times not everyone agrees with the stories and positions that emerge from this, and that can be difficult. Certainly no company can be perfect. But I’m proud of the powerful art that can emerge, and I’m grateful to all of my colleagues who make this happen. From the potent and compelling narrative of “12 Years a Slave”, to the streets of Pakistan and the bravery of an extraordinary young woman that we saw in “He Named Me Malala”, to name just a few, we’ve never been afraid to help storytellers and artists say important things – hard things, too.
To further demonstrate our commitment, Kathryn and I are donating 1 million dollars to the Anti-Defamation League, and I encourage you to give what you think is right as well. We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving, but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too. Many of you are supporters of the Anti-Defamation League already – now is a great time to give more. The ADL is an extraordinary force for vigilance and strength in the face of bigotry – you can learn more here:https://www.adl.org.
My very best to you and with all my gratitude,