Sunday, November 20, 2016

November Statement

We, the undersigned, declare our opposition to the fundamentally anti-democratic rhetoric, proposed policy initiatives, and transitional administrative appointments of President-Elect Donald Trump. We object to a continuation of the racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia that characterized President-Elect Trump’s campaign. We demand that President-Elect Trump publicly disavow these views, immediately cease the official sanction of them via appointment of their avowed representatives to positions of power and influence, and correspondingly commit to the respect, support, and protection of our nation’s most vulnerable groups. 

President-Elect Trump has, either personally or through proxies, engaged in inexcusable, duplicitous, and materially harmful attacks on women, racial minorities, oppressed nationalities, immigrants, Muslims, differently abled people, and organized labor. Within only two weeks of the election, President-Elect Trump’s proposed “Muslim registry” has motivated some to publicly defend the prudence of WWII Japanese internment camps, perhaps the most morally disgraceful and historically ignorant debasement of public discourse we have seen even in this long season of the same. This is unacceptable in any democracy, but especially so in ours, which cannot make a reasonable claim to ignorance of the consequences of such. 

What we have seen thus far from the President-Elect is hostility to diversity, both of persons and of ideas. Such diversity is uniquely fostered by the Academy and, without it, academic pursuits and intellectual integrity are rendered hollow. Insofar as speech or acts aimed at intimidating or silencing vulnerable groups continue to appear on campuses, emboldened by President-Elect Trump’s rhetoric, we resolve to organize faculty and students to identify, resist, oppose, and, where appropriate, utilize institutional mechanisms of justice to indict and prosecute them. 

We remain committed to the collaborative enterprise of democracy and of the Academy, neither of which can survive without rigorous, multivalent, historically-informed, and often impassioned debate about the ethical foundations of their endeavors. We demand that President-Elect Trump demonstrate his commitment to the same. If he continues to neglect this most rudimentary requirement of his position, we the undersigned pledge to resist and oppose, in word and deed, not only President-Elect Trump, but also any other elected representatives who upholds or facilitates his views at the state, city, and local level.

The Academic Opposition


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