On Charlottesville, Virginia
Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,
It is with a heavy heart that I write today. During the last 48 hours, we have watched the situation in Charlottesville, Virginia, and at the University of Virginia escalate to tragedy. The bigotry and hatred espoused by the white supremacist movement is reprehensible. It is designed to incite violence, provoke fear and breed intolerance and domestic terrorism. It cannot and will not prevail.
What drove me into higher education was the idea that if we can address intolerance before it festers, we can stop it completely. As educators and students, we have a unique opportunity and powerful responsibility to make a difference. We must condemn racism and anti-Semitism. We must work daily to ferret bigotry out of our society and our own hearts and minds. We must uphold justice and equity. And we must not allow tragedies like Charlottesville to test our resolve.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives or who were injured, and those in mourning for their loved ones.
In just two weeks, we will welcome 2,300 bright, young people to campus. It is our responsibility as a community to ensure they have the tools necessary to resist hatred and intolerance, and to stop violence before it starts. Please join me in this work.
For those in or near Geneva, members of the community have planned a gathering in support of the Charlottesville demonstrators and to affirm that white supremacy has no place in Geneva. I plan to attend the event held at 6:00 p.m. this evening in Bicentennial Park.
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent ’83