President Birge's message to campus on October 30, 2018
As I read the news of violence over the last week, I cannot help but imagine the sadness and anger felt by the families who lost their loved ones at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the grief and fear of those who knew and loved the two people killed at a Kroger Supermarket in Jeffersontown, KY. 这些悲剧 were concurrent with a series of bombs being sent to public officials associated with the Democratic Party adds to the fear and confusion of our current moment in history.
Between this violence and the increasing volume of hateful, racist, anti-Semitic, and ideological propaganda being used in the U.S. to sow fear and discord, it is easy to see that we are a nation in need of healing. Perhaps, in light of these tragedies, you have found yourself feeling angry, or lost, or hurt. 也许你有一个更困难的 time studying for exams, preparing for work, or being present with your loved ones. Perhaps you are feeling angry, or afraid for your family, or for yourself. If you are unsure of who to talk with about your feelings, please do not hesitate to contact the 咨询服务 Office in the MountainOne Wellness Center on campus.
There is no shame in acknowledging these fears. And there is nothing wrong in feeling differently, or having a different opinion than your peers or colleagues; we all must 活出我们自己的真实. For instance, we often hear that we are a nation of immigrants. The truth is much more complex: we are a nation of people, some whose ancestors immigrated 这里自愿. We are also a nation of people whose ancestors were brought in bondage 违背他们的意愿. Moreover, we are a nation of people descended from those who originally inhabited this land and had it stolen from them. Our nation was founded with glorious 这些话掩盖了更黑暗的现实. Struggling with that reality has been challenging 但最终会让我们更强大. Difference enriches us and makes the world—and our country—a more interesting, vibrant, compassionate place. 事实上，美国 是建立在这个基础上的. We are a nation known for its perseverance and tolerance. But we are far from perfect, and our history reflects that, too.
We are also a nation that holds dear the concept of free speech—but threats and hateful words, whether violent or rhetorical, go beyond that concept. 言论自由是一种责任 as much as a right; we must choose our words carefully and look hard at our well-worn 信念和偏见. We must listen to one another freely. 最重要的是，我们必须坚持 space for one another’s dignity and dialogue.
In this spirit, I encourage you to take advantage of two important opportunities coming 向上:11月11日投票. 6, because regardless of who you vote for, it is crucial to make your voice heard and participate in the national conversation; and attend MCLA’s Day of Dialogue: Complicating Race on Nov. 8, because it is imperative that we also listen and participate in our own community conversations. 你可以了解更多关于国际日的信息 of Dialogue at . 11月11日停课. 8 so that all may listen freely, so that we all learn something new from our community members, and so we may all hold space for each other, together.
I would also like to remind you that, as always, there is no room on our campus for any kind of hateful rhetoric or action. As always, messages of hate and vitriolic actions against marginalized groups will not be tolerated at MCLA. 我们的社区 伟大到不能仇恨. As we prepare to give thanks next month, let’s do as much as we can to make our world a place of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.