Boy Scouts of America: Denounce President Trump's Jamboree Speech

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We are calling on The Boy Scouts of America to publicly denounce President Trump's speech and to apologize for its handling of the 2017 National Jamboree.

Founded in 1910, The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) mission is to "prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." More than 110 million Americans, including several United States Presidents, have participated in Scouting.

The BSA community reflects the diversity of America. Today, there are Troops in tens of thousands of communities across the country. As a matter of policy, the BSA does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, political views, or sexual orientation. In January 2017, the BSA opened enrollment to transgender boys.

Since 1937, Presidents have been invited to give speeches at the National Scout Jamboree. Each and every President has diligently avoided partisan politics, focusing instead on Scouting's widely-held values, like being a good citizen, serving others, and fostering community.

On Monday, July 24, President Trump stood in front of 35,000 Scouts in West Virginia and bucked this longstanding custom. His Jamboree speech was deeply partisan, politically charged, and included attacks on former Presidents, political opponents, and on current government officials. Unlike his predecessors, President Trump did not use the occasion to inspire, instruct, or otherwise provide value to the Scouts in the audience.

I was an active member of Troop 298 in Atlanta, Georgia throughout my childhood. In 2006, I attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Like any member of a community, I see Scouting's virtues and I also see its flaws. Going forward, I want to see the BSA grow and improve. 

That is why I am deeply concerned by the impact of President Trump's partisan and self-serving speech. Current and former Scouts are expressing outrage, shame, and disappointment. Parents are publicly stating that they cannot, in good conscience, allow their children to participate in Scouting. President Trump's words, along with the BSA's poor judgement, have severely damaged the organization's reputation. 

As of now, the BSA has not publicly denounced the President's speech. It is not too late for the BSA to do the right thing and live up to its stated values.

We are calling on The Boy Scouts of America to publicly denounce President Trump's speech and to apologize for its handling of the 2017 National Jamboree.

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