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Message to the Northwestern community: 'No place for hatred'

Following is a message to the Northwestern community from President Morton Schapiro and Provost Jonathan Holloway.

We had intended to wait until the academic year was fully underway to send a note of congratulations and welcome. But after the horrors in Charlottesville and the offensiveness of some of the comments that followed, we decided to send a rather different message, and to send it now.

What happened in Virginia is no mystery – the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and their fellow ideologues fought for their vision of America, an America that has no place for African Americans, immigrants, LGBTQ members, Jews, and others. Is this something new? Of course not. White supremacists have espoused hateful and violent views throughout our country’s history. But to bring this message to a university campus — and then to hear President Trump attempt to ascribe evil to “both sides” — is an insult to our nation and to the academic communities that have helped make it so strong. 

At Northwestern, we undoubtedly will continue to grapple with difficult issues regarding freedom of speech. A university must be a place for vigorous debate and robust discussion. But such debate cannot include the physical violence, verbal assaults and unmitigated hatred perpetrated by the alt-right and their allies. Therefore, we also will continue to foster a safe and supportive community by providing the protections that all people deserve. That is the work before us, and it is the work to which we are committed.

This is our campus and our country.

Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

Jonathan Holloway
Provost and Professor

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