There’s a hidden message of resistance in the White House arts committee’s resignation letter

It was an act of protest in form and function.

Perhaps you heard that the remaining 16 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned in protest Friday. Actor Kal Penn, a member of the group, shared the resignation letter on Twitter — a sharp rebuke of the President’s response to white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which Trump blamed people on “all sides” for the deadly violence and rejected calls to remove divisive Confederate monuments.

“We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” the letter said. “Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions.”

As the letter spread through the Internet, many noticed the group used artistic license to drive home its point. The first letter of each paragraph spells out a rallying cry: RESIST.

The PCAH was created under President Ronald Reagan in 1982 with the purpose of advising the White House on issues surrounding arts and humanities. Members typically come from the arts and entertainment community. Politicians, educators, lawyers and business leaders round out the committee. First Lady Melania Trump serves as the committee’s honorary chairwoman.

This committee’s announcement capped a week that started with the President fighting backlash over his remarks on the Charlottesville attack. A rush of CEOs quit one of two business councils in the wake, prompting President Trump to disband both on Wednesday.