Donald Trump

‘Ashamed of Our President': Internal Memo From Aetna CEO About Charlottesville

An internal memo sent to employees by Aetna's CEO about the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been obtained by CNBC.

The memo begins with a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before Mark Bertolini writes, "I can’t help but comment on the current national dialogue surrounding the deplorable violence in Charlottesville."

Bertolini said he is "pleased" to see so many leaders rejecting "racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred of all forms."

"I am ashamed of our president's behavior and comments," the CEO wrote. 

The leader of one of the largest health insurance companies ended the memo by saying his mission is to build a healthier world and remain committed these values. 

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump abolished two White House business councils after a growing number of business leaders resigned from the advisory panels following the president's comments on the violence in Charlottesville.

Find the full memo below:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Colleagues:

I can’t help but comment on the current national dialogue surrounding the deplorable violence in Charlottesville. I strongly agree with the remarks of former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush who stated: “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred of all forms.” I am pleased that many other political leaders from both parties have expressed similarly strong statements – and I am ashamed of our President’s behavior and comments.

We all breathe the same air, we all want the same thing for our children’s future, and we all aspire for the pursuit of happiness and good health for our families and friends. We are not a country of hate, and we are all judged by our own god based on the compassion and humanity we show others.

I hope that each of us takes time to discuss with our family and friends the responsibility we all share, every day, to live up to the values that have made our nation so great – those of tolerance and respect for others. We are a great nation because of our diversity which fosters sharing of ideas and experiences. Our country is not perfect, but it is more tolerant than any other nation I know. We can only remain great if we remain intolerant of hate.

We as a company can only succeed in our mission to build a healthier world if we remain committed to these same values and behaviors. By doing so, each of us can reinforce the bonds of inclusion and tolerance that strengthen our company, our communities, and our nation.


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