August 16, 2017

Los Angeles, CA - Please attribute the following statement on Donald J. Trump’s assertions Tuesday that "both sides" are to blame for the violence that erupted over the weekend at a white supremacists' rally in Charlottesville, VA to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

"Stunning. Terrifying. Unsettling. Pusillanimous. Irrational. Disturbing. But perhaps the most succinct way to describe Donald Trump's ludicrous press conference performance Tuesday lies in one of his own favorite epithets: SAD.

Yesterday, Donald Trump publicly invited hate to take up residence in the White House. This follows by many months his introducing hate as a guest through appointing white nationalists to high-level posts in his administration.

Equating opposition to the continued exaltation of historical traitors like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson with opposition to flawed, but heroic, founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson is simply insane. Ahistorical blather that also ignores the adoption of Lee and Jackson as icons of racism and exclusion ill befits any leader of this nation.

The implications of yesterday’s display are quite simply monstrous. First, can any person of good conscience continue to serve this president? Second, can any congressperson or senator of good conscience accede to this president's judgment in policy or appointment? Third, can any judge who adheres to the Constitution fail to strike down as intentional racial discrimination any policy initiated by this president?

The term is sometimes overused, but if we are not already in the terrain of constitutional crisis, we are perilously close."

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund