New Jersey leaders condemn violence in Virginia

Merck CEO resigns from Trump Council

Glenn Townes | 8/15/2017, 1:44 p.m.
Dozens of legislative, community activists and New Jersey residents gathered across the state to denounce the violence over the weekend ...
White supremacists demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Aug. 12, 2017. -Wikipedia Photo

Dozens of legislative, community activists and New Jersey residents gathered across the state to denounce the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia when white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters—killing one woman and injuring dozens of others.


Ras Baraka

At a rally on Monday at Secaucus City Hall, New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell said President Donald Trump's initial tepid response to the violence and specific denouncement of racist militant groups like the K.K.K, neo Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups gives credence to their mission of hate and violence. “Now their beliefs are validated by the president who took white nationalism to the dance during his campaign,” Pascrell said.

And Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said, “In all of his bombastic and loud talk against the nation’s enemies, he continues to remain silent on one: white supremacy.”

Senator Cory Booker posted, {Trump's statements} fuels a misleading account of what actually happened but shamefully puts the counter-protesters on the same moral level as those carrying Nazi flags and chanting vile racist chants.”

Facing overwhelming pressure from fellow Republicans, the media and others, President Trump spoke again on the topic Monday afternoon. He said, “And those who cause violence its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazi and white supremacists and other hate groups that repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans.”


Kenneth Carleton Frazier (born December 17, 1954) is the Chairman, President and CEO of Merck & Co. -Wikipedia photo

However, the new message was too late for many Trump supporters, including Kenneth Frazier, CEO of New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Merck. On Monday via his personal Twitter account, Frazier posted, “I am resigning from the President's American Manufacturing Council. As CEO of Merck and a matter of personal conscience. I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

Shortly after Frazier's post went viral, Trump slammed Frazier with a sarcastic tweet of his own, “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Frazier was named Black Enterprise Magazine Corporate Executive of the Year in 2014; has sat at the helm of Merck since 2011 and is one of only five African American CEO's of a Fortune 500 company.