LIUFF Statement on Charlottesville, VA, White Supremacy Rally

Sep 4, 2017 by

LIUFF Statement on Charlottesville, VA, White Supremacy Rally

The Long Island University Faculty Federation condemns the racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism of the white supremacist groups who recently gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Boston, Massachusetts. We publicly affirm our commitment to the values of justice, inclusivity, and non-violence central to the practice of democracy and to the health of civil society, as well as to our work as educators.

As university faculty, we recognize the importance of a safe campus space in facilitating learning, fostering democratic discourse, and engendering respect for all community members. We note with alarm how such safety was jeopardized in Charlottesville, where open-carry weapons and torches reminiscent of Nazi processions and KKK gatherings were brought to a rally on a university campus to intimidate and threaten.

We grieve the murder of Heather Heyer, who stood firm against white supremacists in her hometown of Charlottesville. In deep sympathy with her family and friends, we heed her mother Susan Bro’s call to action: “Heather was about bringing an end to injustice. I don’t want her death to be a focus for more hatred, I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion.”

As scholars dedicated to clear thinking and the pursuit of truth, we condemn President Trump’s false equivalences and failure to denounce white supremacists and neo-Nazis unequivocally. As stakeholders in a democratic society, we condemn the President’s failure to protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans even as he emboldens white supremacists. As teachers, we model democracy for our students by protecting the free exchange of ideas. We distinguish between free speech and hate speech, the one embodying a Constitutional right, the other, its abuse, and we call on our leaders to protect us from such abuse.

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