Is it fair to judge everyone who marched against the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville? Surely not everyone involved self-identifies as a white supremacist or Nazi. When I marched for science in Washington, DC, I didn’t agree with every single thing that was said on stage or written on signs, but I marched anyway. Same thing, right?
Wrong. If I had shown up for the March for Science and found that some of my fellow marchers were carrying Nazi flags and chanting “Blood and soil,” I would have noped the fuck out of there. That’s what decent human beings do when they realize they’re associating with Nazis: they nope the fuck out of there. Do I even need to say this? These are bad people with a toxic worldview. Decent human beings on both sides of the aisle want nothing to do with them.
Not every person who marched in protest of removing the monument is a Nazi, and I assume not all of them are racists.
But every one of them chose to march side by side with Nazis.
Speaking of, I’m still on the University of Montana’s mailing list, so I got the following message from the President of the University of Montana:
Dear Campus Colleagues and Friends,
The University of Montana condemns the racist sentiments that led to violence and death in Charlottesville. The backdrop for this event was a university: a place deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect. On display were racist, Nazi, and anti-Semitic chants shouted by people carrying torches and assault weapons. It was unsettling and graphic.
Yesterday, many of our campus leaders engaged in an important discussion about Charlottesville and the national dialogue around issues of equality, diversity, inclusion, and respect. We discussed how we as the University of Montana must contribute to the narrative of these issues on our own campus and with our students and the greater community. Denouncing what occurred in Charlottesville is not enough. We are committed to action and living the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
To this end, we at the University of Montana will promote constructive dialogue about building our community of inclusion, diversity, equality, with compassion and respect. We will work to build awareness and appreciation for our diversity. We will ensure access to resources on the campus for those who feel uncertain or need assistance. We will reassert UM’s long-valued inclusiveness, strengthen our commitment to civil discourse, and continue our ongoing efforts to create a safe campus. We will seize opportunities to come together as ONE University of Montana and, in doing so, set a powerful example in our state and for our nation.
This University belongs to all of us, not in spite of our multitude of experiences, political perspectives, national origins, backgrounds and identities but because of them. Thank you for the opportunity to share thoughts on these important matters.
Sheila M. Stearns
And another from the Dean of the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech:
Dean’s statement prompted by events in Charlottesville, Virginia
To the College of Sciences Community at Georgia Tech:
I write to you with a sadness and a dismay. My sadness stems from last weekend’s use of violence to try to intimidate people who strive for equality, especially the citizens of Charlottesville, home to our sibling institution, the University of Virginia. This abhorrent attack was planned and executed by a deplorable group of provocateurs, all of whom choose to hate, based on race, religion, and sexual identity. Their learnt forms of prejudice fuel misguided notions of superiority and an innate right to special advantage over others. My dismay stems from the false equivalence – expressed in some quarters – of the vile ideas and violent conduct of the racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic attackers and the sentiments and actions of those who resisted the attack.
More than seventy years ago, the citizens of many, many nations did not equivocate in the face of the attempt to spread the terror and devastation of Nazi and Fascist ideologies around the globe. Indeed, we venerate those who contributed to that resistance. Today, we cannot be equivocal about those who would spread racism, religious intolerance, and homophobia. These and other forms of prejudice and discrimination have no place in our society. It is not complicated.
So, I shall stand with the people of Charlottesville in unequivocal repudiation of hate-filled ideologies; I shall stand in unequivocal support of civility, respect, fairness, and enlightenment; and I shall support the free-flowing exchange of ideas and the power of civil debate and reason to sift through them. I have confidence that our community stands together on these matters. As we embark upon a new year of scholarship, education, and service – and the fulfilment they bring via the lifting up of the next generation to value and apply the power of reason – let us affirm this to all faculty, staff, and students who together make up our community: Whoever you are, whatever your roots, wherever you come from, the Georgia Tech family wholeheartedly welcomes and cherishes you.
Paul M. Goldbart, Dean
Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair
College of Sciences
August 18, 2017