Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty College and early Donald Trump supporter, on Sunday defended his continuing support for Trump and his views on the deadly protests in Virginia, even as graduates reportedly have threatened to give back their diplomas.
Georgia Hamann, a 2006 alumna and an attorney in Phoenix, Ariz., helped pen the letter.
"As alums, we have the power to say something", the Facebook group's description says, urging alumni to mail their diplomas to Falwell's office on September 5, along with explanatory letters.
So, Falwell Jr.is, essentially, as sexist and racist as Trump himself, which is why almost 300 members have joined a "Return your diploma to LU" effort on Facebook. "We have every intention to continue to extend invitations to him to contribute his perspective on issues important to all of us", he said.
Trump has been criticized - including by many Republicans - for a series of statements after an anti-racist counterprotester was killed by an alleged Nazi sympathizer who drove his auto into the crowd. He wrote on Twitter: "The truth as stated by Donald Trump is that violent white supremacists, Nazi, KKK and similar hate groups are pure evil and un-American". And I admire him for that'.More news: Food aid is reaching thousands who survived a mudslide in Sierra Leone
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Former students at the university have now come out and condemned Falwell's perceived affiliation with President Trump.
Trump faced criticism from the right and the left for blaming "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, which is about an hour away from Liberty University's sprawling Lynchburg, Virginia, campus. "I know him well". During his remarks, President Trump thanked evangelicals for their support at the voting booth last November.
Trump is also "doing all the right things for the people that are in need, the minorities", Falwell continued.
'I think the president has made it very clear that there is no moral equivalency between what the counter-protesters did, even though maybe some of them resorted to violence in response ... and somebody driving his vehicle into a crowd because he hates people of other races, ' Falwell said. But Falwell says his support for the president is about his willingness to call terrorist groups by their names.
Alumni interviewed Sunday evening said they were not swayed. "There's such a strong affiliation now between Liberty University and President Trump that you know that reflects badly on all alumni".
'If some [body] showed up and they saw that they were marching beside somebody who hates blacks, who hates Jews, who wants to do violence, I think they should just walk away, yes, ' Falwell urged.