President Brown condemns ‘Tragedy in Charlottesville,’ but keeps statement vague

‘The obligation of our community must be to hold fast to the values that are in our Boston University DNA.’

Thursday afternoon, President Brown sent out a mass email to the BU community condemning the violent acts and, "the hateful, explicitly racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric that created the environment in which it was perpetrated."

In the email, President Brown calls on the members of Boston University to "hold fast to the values that are in our Boston University DNA" by continuing to appreciate differences and speak of tolerance and the importance of free speech outlined in the First Amendment.

But he notes that, "tolerance doesn't necessarily imply or entail acceptance or approval."

He raises the question of what is morally acceptable and tolerable or not in times of hateful rhetoric and actions as displayed in Charlottesville.

But he answers, "we must, I believe, explicitly denounce white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that make such claims."

President Brown encourages the community to show that the values of the University and the Constitution are enough to push back on the 'few' who want to divide us.

But is it only a few, and is it enough?

He mentions the “free speech” rally that will occur this Saturday on Boston Common as a test for rest of us to uphold "civility," and, "generosity of spirit."

While the president meaningfully expresses his and BU's disgust for white supremacist rhetorics and actions, his purposely vague defense of the freedom of all inquiry and speech, "the success of Boston University in fulfilling its vital mission in our society depends on freedom of inquiry and speech—even when that speech is objectionable to many," does not effectively reassure us.

Is the deplorable rhetoric that gave rise to the murder of a young women included, and therefore still allowed?

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