Words matter. At the risk of stating the obvious, the source of the words also matters. While I am appalled at the anti-Asian behavior of what I hope is an infinitesimal minority in this country, I know that my voice is not going to change behavior. However, the voice of Lawrence Bacow, the President of Harvard might. As a result, the following is a quote from a letter he wrote to the members of the Harvard community. I hope that this will resonate with your values and that you will be willing to share President Bacow’s words with your colleagues.
“It has become politic to abhor the act rather than the actor, to speak of hate and violence as if they exist independently of those who perpetrate them. People hate; people speak; people act. Each of us must respond in both words and deeds, demonstrating the good that comes from building a community made stronger by difference. Harvard must stand as a bulwark against hatred and bigotry. We welcome and embrace individuals from every background because it makes us a better community, a stronger community. An attack on any group of us is an attack on all of us — and on everything we represent as an institution.
“It is our collective responsibility to repair this imperfect world.”Lawrence Bacow, President, Harvard University
I hope you will be as moved as I am by Lawrence Bacow’s words. Please feel free to use this information in a way that is consistent with the mission of your school and your values.