A former State Department employee’s resignation letter went viral due to its hidden message calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Dr. Daniel Kammen posted his letter, dated Aug. 23, on Twitter. He confirmed in an email to DiversityInc that spelling “impeach” was indeed intentional.
Mr. President, I am resigning as Science Envoy. Your response to Charlottesville enables racism, sexism, & harms our country and planet. pic.twitter.com/eWzDc5Yw6t
— Daniel M Kammen (@dan_kammen) August 23, 2017
“My decision to resign is in response to your attacks on core values of the United States. Your failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has domestic and international ramifications,” Kammen wrote in his letter to Trump.
“Particularly troubling to me,” he added, “is how your response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behavior that enables racism and sexism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet.”
Kammen also cited Trump’s “decision to abdicate the leadership opportunities and the job creation benefits of the Paris Climate Accord, and to undermine energy and environmental research,” each of which “are not acceptable.”
“Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet,” Kammen concluded.
Kammen’s letter states that since 1996 he has served in several different capacities for the Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. He was most recently serving as a science envoy for the State Department.
The U.S. Department of State’s website lists six current science envoys (not including Kammen), who are tasked with responsibilities including “Advising U.S. government representatives on programs and opportunities which may support collaborative activities.”
According to his website, Kammen serves as the co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment and is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). He studied physics at Cornell and Harvard Universities, and he is a Permanent Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. His Twitter bio states he is a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kammen said in an interview with CNN that his resignation was also a personal decision.
“I can’t stand with this President and then go home and tell my kids, ‘Gee, I’m working with someone who seems to be promoting neo-Nazis, racism, sexism,’” Kammen told the news outlet.
CNN also reported that Kammen’s wife is Nigerian American, and the couple has biracial children. Kammen is white.
In an email to DiversityInc Kammen also said his letter was meant “to honor the important letter by the President’s Commission on the Arts and their letter of August 18.”
On Aug. 18 all 17 members of the President’s Commission on Arts and Humanities resigned from their roles. Sixteen members signed a letter stating their resignation, and by the end of the day the final member also left.
“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” the letter says. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand.”
The first letter of every paragraph of the group’s letter spells out the word “resist.” As explained by the New York Times earlier this year, “‘Resist’ has become a one-word battle cry for the anti-Trump forces.”
The domino effect of leaders distancing themselves began with Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, who resigned from the president’s American Manufacturing Council on Aug. 14. Two other CEOs — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank — quickly followed suit. Other CEOs soon joined them, and just two days after Frazier’s initial departure the manufacturing council, as well as the president’s Strategy & Policy Forum, had both been dissolved.
Following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that ended in violence and left a 32-year-old counter-protester dead at the hands of a 20-year-old white supremacist, Trump insisted there were “very fine people” on the neo-Nazi side of the rally and described violence “on both sides.”