Text of PZ Myers’ speech at the RefuseFascism.org organizational meeting

I am standing here as a human being outraged by circumstances, just as all of you here. I have no special qualities to make me uniquely representative, or to warrant my presence on this stage. If I had my way we’d everyone of us rise up and march together now unified in our opposition — and I think we’ll do precisely that a little later. So I feel a bit humbled to have been asked to say a few words for a small sector of the American experience.

I am an educator and a scientist. As an educator and scientist, in addition to being a human being, I am horrified. We have elected a post-truth president; worse, he is actively anti-truth. He is the antithesis of everything reason and science stand for.

Let me give a few examples of Trump’s anti-science stand. All we have to do is look at his twitter feed.

Way back in 2014, when there was an Ebola outbreak in Africa, he wrote this:

The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back, People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!

Think about the callous insensitivity in that remark — not only should the innocents afflicted with a terrible disease be neglected, but the courageous medical professionals who went to their aid should be refused entry back into this country. Cowardice and an inhuman disregard for the lives of our best and bravest…

Is this man who we want to be our president?

More recently he demonstrated gross ignorance. He wrote,

Autism rates through the roof—why doesn’t the Obama administration do something about doctor-inflicted autism

He’s anti-vaccination — a well-supported, safe medical procedure that saves millions of lives, because he denies the robust evidence that shows that it works, and refutes any claim that it causes autism. He goes further and accuses doctors of conspiring to cause autism.

This is destructive to the health of our people…but then, it’s clear that he has little interest in helping the needy.

Is this man who we want to be president of our country?

Another example of inflammatory, dangerous conspiracy theories.

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Unbelievable. Climate scientists are fundamentally unanimous in their agreement on this matter: the climate is changing. It is caused by rising concentrations of greenhouse gasses. These gasses are largely generated from human sources: from industry, from automobiles, from rising demands for energy produced from fossil fuels. This is a crisis. We must respond, and respond soon.

Trump’s response is to deny reality, and to ascribe the concern to yet another conspiracy theory, and to blame a foreign power.

This is dangerous madness. Again, I have to ask…is this man who we want to be president of our country?

It’s more than just what he has said, it’s what he has already done. He has appointed an Exxon executive to be his Secretary of State. His administrator of the environmental protection agency is a lawyer he who has always sided with the oil, coal, and gas industry, and wants to destroy the EPA. His secretary of the interior does not accept the science of climate change and wants to strip away safeguards to protect, well, the interior. His secretary of energy is a man who declared his intention to destroy the position of secretary of energy…although he also forgot the name of the position during the campaign.

I also have to mention an enduring, long term threat: his secretary of education is someone who campaigns to impoverish and destroy public education. Apparently, ignorance is a virtue fascism wants to encourage.

Is this man who we want to be president of our country?

One last thing: these are not merely differences of opinion. Trump has embraced the fascist dream of enforcing his opinion with threats of violence.

Recently, Michael Mann, a well known and highly respected climate scientist, wrote about his experience with the thugs of the right-wing, who become bolder after this recent election.

I’ve faced hostile investigations by politicians, demands for me to be fired from my job, threats against my life and even threats against my family. Those threats have diminished in recent years, as man-made climate change has become recognized as the overwhelming scientific consensus and as climate science has received the support of the federal government. But with the coming Trump administration, my colleagues and I are steeling ourselves for a renewed onslaught of intimidation, from inside and outside government. It would be bad for our work and bad for our planet.

And then there have been the threats of violence. I’ve received email warnings that “the public will come after you,” suggesting that I’ll find myself “six feet under” and hoping to read that I had “committed suicide.”

I can tell you that he is not alone. I teach evolutionary biology, and have likewise received threats of violence, death threats, and promises to get me fired from my job. I have been placed on the Professor Watch List by far right wing propagandists, because I took a strong stand against scientifically fallacious and ethically unconscionable racism promoted on my campus by neo-Nazi propagandists.

This is fascism.

We have no choice. We must say NO — In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America!


  1. says

    I’ve got autism, and found out late that Trump was an anti-vaxxer. I’ve seen how these people talk about their children as if they were defective toys. I’ve seen how they describe abusive “experiments” to “cure” them, even if it kills the victim. I’ve got plenty of reason to be afraid, even if I’m not at the top of the hit list.

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