MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Township Committee released the following statement on President Donald Trump on Friday, August 18.

We vehemently oppose Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists not just in Charlottesville but across the United States. President Trump’s unwillingness to denounce white supremacy has only encouraged and empowered white nationalists and has further divided our nation.

When the nation needed moral leadership to heal and unite Americans after the horrible acts of violence and hate in Charlottesville, President Trump failed us. His lack of leadership and validation of racism and racists groups is terrifying.

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As local-elected leaders, we will not remain silent. As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

We will continue to speak out against racism, whether it be in Virginia, in New Jersey or in Maplewood.

Locally, we’ve had our own challenges with racial profiling by our police and disparate treatment of students of color in our schools. And we’ve experienced anti-Semitic and racist graffiti in our community and school buildings.

The Maplewood Township Committee and the South Orange/Maplewood School Board must act to directly and firmly address issues of racism and discrimination in our community and our schools.

We call on Donald Trump to lead our nation, to act like a President of all people by taking a stand against white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Anything less is unacceptable and demonstrates his complicity in allowing racism and white nationalism to continue to flourish and grow.

The Maplewood Township Committee stands with our fellow citizens in their outrage over the President’s words and deeds. We pledge to continue to work with and throughout our own community so that all people feel safe and welcomed in our town.