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viewpoint

Similar letters, different messages

| Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The first letter appeared as a paid advertisement in Nov. 15 print edition of The Observer. I was invited to sign it, but declined. I might possibly sign, if asked, a somewhat parallel but very different second letter, with one qualification. It should not claim as the authors of the first letter do that their letter is from “the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and Holy Cross College faculty and staff.” This is of course not true of their letter; it is from some of that far larger group.

First Letter:

To our students who are feeling especially vulnerable following the election:

We know that you, like many of us, are reeling over the result of the presidential election.  You may be fearful of the very real dangers that may be ahead, not only for you but for your family members. Some of you might feel even more silenced than you have already felt, perhaps wondering if the classmate sitting next to you, your professor, or people in your residence hall actually support the views of the candidate who received the most electoral college votes in the election. who, in the course of the campaign, unapologetically made comments that were racist, sexist, elitist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and homophobic. You may encounter overt signs of these views on campus and in the local community despite our hopes to the contrary. Please know that you are not alone. We the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College faculty and staff embrace you and stand in solidarity with you against hate. We offer you our support and love. As a start, and at the very least, we will listen to your voices. We will listen to your anger, fear and disappointment in a country that may fail to live up to its promise of justice and the blessings of liberty for you. Do not lose heart. We are not powerless. We remain committed to act, to help you find tangible resources you may need to be safe and to thrive. We will use the power and privileges that we have to advocate on behalf of all students, and to continue building a more inclusive and welcoming community. Reach out to any one of us. We are here for you.

Second Letter:

To our students who are feeling especially vulnerable following the election:

We know that you, like many of us, are reeling over the result of the presidential election.  You may be fearful of the very real dangers that may be ahead, not only for you but for your family members. Some of you might feel even more silenced than you have already felt, perhaps wondering if the classmate sitting next to you, your professor, or people in your residence hall actually support the views of the candidate who received the most votes in the election, who, in the course of the campaign, unapologetically made comments supportive of aborting babies right up to the moment of their birth, who advocates continuing funding of an organization that not only does hundreds of thousands of abortions, but also sells body parts from the abortions they perform. This is also a candidate who openly advocates forcing all Americans, including those who see abortion as murder, to give financial support for abortions and would like to force medical professionals who object to performing abortions to be removed from hospital staffs. You may encounter overt signs of these views on campus and in the local community despite our hope to the contrary. Please know you are not alone. We are among the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College faculty and staff who endorse this letter to let you know we embrace you and stand in solidarity with you against hate. We offer our support and love. As a start, and at the very least, we will listen to your voices. We will listen to your anger, fear and disappointment in a country that may fail to live up to its promise of justice and the blessings of liberty for even its most vulnerable members. Do not lose heart. We are not powerless. As faculty and staff, we remain committed to act, to help you find tangible resources you may need to be safe and to thrive. We will use the power and privileges that we have to advocate on behalf of all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, and to continue building a more inclusive and welcoming community. Please reach out to any one of us. We are here for you.

Michael J. Crowe
professor emeritus
Nov. 27

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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Letters to the Editor can be submitted by all members of the Notre Dame community. To submit a letter to the Viewpoint Editor, email viewpoint@ndsmcobserver.com

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  • Annette Magjuka

    The second letter is full of inaccurate information.