Liberty Alums Give Back Diploma in Trump Protest

21 August, 2017, 02:20 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Jerry Falwell Jr: Trump 'Does Not Have a Racist Bone in His Body'

"I'll have to have my mom dig it out of storage", says one.

Raddatz asked Falwell Jr. if he thinks Trump ought to have been clearer about that in his remarks, but Falwell Jr. ultimately said no.

Trump has twice blamed "both sides" for violence at a rally organized by white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups identifying as the "alt-right" that left one person dead and multiple injured. "I don't know, but he had information I didn't have". "I'm sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists", 2006 graduate Chris Gaumer tells NPR, which calls the protesters a "small but growing number".

"But when you say things like that, when you say it's all evil, but you say you're so proud of Donald Trump, that's the message that resonated", Raddatz observed.

Falwell Jr. praised Trump's response to the tragedy in Charlottesville last week, tweeting Wednesday, "Finally a leader in WH".

Falwell declined to comment on Trump suggesting well-intended people participated in the protests, suggesting the president had inside information - perhaps video that showed "historical purists" - that he had not seen.

"We're asking that Liberty University return to its stated values and accept that the pursuit of power is leading it into some dark places, and really repudiate that", she said.

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Only evangelical leaders, who you'd think would be the first ones to condemn hatred, have remained silent.

One member of the evangelical community, biblical studies professor Denny Burk of Boyce College in Kentucky, condemned the president's remarks at Tuesday's news conference as "more than disappointing". Rebekah Tilley graduated from Liberty in 2002 and now works in higher education in Iowa.

Falwell, president of the Christian-based Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, said Trump likely had more detailed information on protesters when he described "fine people" on both sides.

For Doug Johnson Hatlem, a 1999 graduate who now works as a Mennonite pastor in Ontario, Canada, Charlottesville feels like a tipping point for many alumni who have been concerned about the university's association with Trump.

Raddatz then pointed to comments made earlier this week by Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, who said that once people saw Nazi flags at the event they should have 'turned tail'.

Johnson Hatlem said returning diplomas is an important symbolic statement.

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