I thought I was going to write about something else in today’s blog post, but then I read this article and knew I wanted to share it along. It is written by the President of Wesleyan University, Michael Roth, and appeared in the recent issue of Inside Higher Ed.
The Black Lives Matter movement has helped many of us begin to understand that it is not enough not to be a racist. We must be ‘anti-racists’ as well. Roth takes that a step further and argues that it is also not enough not to be a fascist. We must also be anti-fascists, especially given the situation in the United States today and the perilous path the present administration is walking. Roth claims: “There is no neutrality with respect to the resurgent populist authoritarianism one sees in this country and in so many others.” I agree. He also explains that taking an active stance against fascism, especially in universities, is the only way we can ensure that our students are able to study, think and create in an environment of freedom and intellectual rigor. “…it has never been enough to simply declare one’s campus a marketplace of ideas in which truth wins out. One must work actively to ensure intellectual diversity and robust discussion about enduring questions.“
This really does go to the heart of so much of the work I have been doing via Writing Through with students both in SE Asia and now in the US. If you have been on this journey with me, I encourage you to read this important statement by President Roth: