The recent violence in Charlottesville was repugnant, and it stands as an anathema to the values Americans hold dear.
It is even more disturbing that so much of the violence occurred on a college campus — the historic and prestigious University of Virginia.
More frequently than ever, hate groups target public universities like ours because we vigorously promote free speech. That’s why I support what UVA President Teresa Sullivan said after Nazis, white supremacists, and anti-Semitic protestors stormed her campus.
What took place at UVA “wasn’t about ideas,” she said. “People weren’t out there arguing with each other. They were clobbering each other. That’s a very different situation. That’s violence. Violence is not free speech.”
I couldn’t agree more.
UCF stands alongside those who oppose the racism, bigotry, and hate seen in Charlottesville. These views are on the wrong side of history and have no place in our future.
We choose to side with equality, inclusivity, and respect.
In my lifetime, Americans have defeated Nazis, won the Cold War, and fought for equal rights for all.
Our progress toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive people is a strength of our great nation. Our embrace of justice and equality has been a beacon to others around the world.
These values represent the best of America. Let us strive to uphold these values in all we do, now more than ever.