Skip to main content

A Statement Regarding Recent Events

October 29, 2018

Dear Friends,

In this country we celebrate the rights of all to pursue their happiness without regard to race, creed, or color. We hear those words so often — “without regard to race, creed, or color”— that we sometimes take them for granted. But when in the same week a gunman slaughters two African Americans at a store because they were black; and when another murders in cold blood eleven Jews worshiping in a synagogue — we understand that these rights require our eternal vigilance. Our hearts ache for the families of those who lost loved ones in these acts of hatred. Words are inadequate to express our horror.

We must resolve to affirm these rights and to defend them for all. If we do not stand for our principles, even when, and perhaps especially when, those who are affected may differ from us, we only embolden those who dishonor the values we hold dear. We likewise must condemn those who would seek to silence our voices by targeting for murder those with whom they disagree by sending pipe bombs in the mail.

Swarthmore College reaffirms the dignity and worth of all members of our community, regardless of how they look, where they worship, or whom they love. We stand with those who have lost loved ones to these evil acts. And we recommit ourselves to our principles in the face of those who would seek to intimidate or silence. In our daily lives let us do all we can to support one another, to exercise freely the rights for which past generations have given their lives, and, by so doing, to ensure the future of our diverse community.

In the face of hate, love. In the face of indifference, act. And in the face of suffering, care. With each small step, we reaffirm a community grounded in compassion and united against intolerance and hate.


Valerie Smith