However, we are still troubled that, after a tenured black professor received death threats in response to speaking out against white supremacy on a personal social media page, the administration’s default response was to lend credence to a politically motivated attack specifically designed to stifle critical engagement with issues of race. The other choice would have been to strongly support Professor Williams in the face of such attacks. We are also troubled by the fact that the email sent out by President Berger-Sweeney on Wednesday, June 21 was worded in ways that seemed to confirm the validity of the Campus Reform allegations. The relative public silence since, including from the Dean of Faculty, has been disquieting. In stark contrast to the administration’s response, Professor Williams has thus far received overwhelming support from the academic community. A petition in support of Professor Williams gathered over 2300 signatures in four days. An open letter of support from the Trinity community received over 650 signatures in two days. These numbers continue to grow. The American Sociological Association issued a statement on June 22nd affirming that “the ability to inject controversial ideas into this forum is paramount to a better understanding of our society and essential to ensuring a robust exchange of ideas on college campuses” and that “threatening the life of those whose rhetoric we oppose undermines the robust and democratic exchange of ideas.” We agree, and we are frankly appalled that our own administration has so far been unwilling to make a similarly clear statement endorsing the principles that are so necessary for conducting our work and lives safely and without threat of reprisal.
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