Published in the Village Times (East Setauket)
To the Editor,
No, Representative Zeldin, it is not enough to pay lip service against the KKK and Nazism as you do in your August 17 letter to the editor. You then go on to parrot Mr. Trump’s false assertion that “there is evidence that the violence came from multiple groups and multiple sides” and “For any of the protesters on either side with extremist views and violent purposes, you are 100 percent completely in the wrong.”
No, Representative Zeldin, let us be perfectly clear that there is no moral equivalence between marchers waving swastikas and chanting anti-semitic slogans – and those who came to protest this hatred. The counter-protesters were there to defend American values against the “Unite the Right” rally’s message of hate.
Mr. Trump is being broadly condemned by both Republicans and Democrats for blaming the violence on “both sides.” You need to join them in holding him accountable for preaching hate from the White House. It is not good enough for you to speak out against white supremacists – you need to speak out against this president who enables and emboldens them with his hate-filled rhetoric and policies. It is time for you to join people in Congress and in the business and arts world who have spoken out against Mr. Trump’s bigotry. You need to demand that he fire the rest of his alt-right advisors in the White House, including Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka. You need to join the brave people in Congress who have called for censure of Mr. Trump.
Anything less is just empty words.
Terry S. Shapiro, D.M.D.