I’ve not been moved to write anything personally here for a long time. But.
The last several days in the United States have been difficult for everyone I know. My former colleagues at the University of Virginia and friends in Charlottesville are feeling this keenly. Some of them worked to keep the library open on Saturday while the University cancelled events. One of the Library’s current employees, Tyler Magill, was injured while attempting to protect a small group students from racists using pepper spray and throwing lit torches on Friday night. Some of you reading this—in the US or elsewhere—are direct targets of the hatred shouted and hurled by the various white supremacists that attended up the Unite the Right event in Charlottesville, VA and marched through the University of Virginia grounds on Friday night.
When our elected leaders refuse to speak the truth, we must all do so. This is not a time for equivocation or false equivalences. What happened in Charlottesville was abhorrent. There is no doubt that we have again witnessed terrorist acts resulting in injury and death in the United States. This past weekend’s events were intended to frighten, intimidate, and harm our colleagues, and our friends, and our families. I have felt this pain with you, and I condemn those who have caused it.
I worry that many of you at US colleges and universities may soon be faced with similar circumstances. If this happens, please be safe, be vigilant, and know that many of us are thinking of you.