A Message in Response to Friday's Executive Orders
Dear CESJ Community:
The Executive Order issued on Friday goes against our commitment to social justice and values of equity, diversity and inclusion. I believe it is important to condemn not only the ban on refugees and immigration from Muslim majority countries, but also the rationale that profiling and discrimination will make America safe.
The executive order supports Islamophobia, fear and hatred of people based on the religion they practice. It framed Muslims as a people that should be feared and supported the false assumption that terrorist attacks in the United States were perpetrated by asylees. We know this thinking is wrong. More Muslims have lost their lives in terrorist attacks than any other religious group. Many religions that teach love and peace have also been misused to carry out atrocities throughout history. We will not allow the actions of a few to prejudice us against a world religion that has brought hope and harmony to so many people.
The battle we find ourselves in is not a conventional war among territories. It is a battle for hearts and minds. We cannot fight terror by spreading more terror. Isolationism, scapegoating, and bigotry will not make America safer. We engender animosity against America when we ignore our values and shirk our responsibilities to the global community. We make more progress when churches and synagogues sponsor incoming Syrian refugee families, regardless of their religion; when lawyers volunteer their services at airports to help immigrants exercise their rights; and when we act in solidarity with persecuted peoples, supporting diversity and inclusion, knowing it makes our communities stronger.
This message is in support of our mission to hold each other accountable to our expressed values of equity, diversity and inclusion and to encourage the Lang community to live justice-centered lives through promoting civic engagement and advancing social justice. This message need not be read as a message in support or against any political party. Our office is nonpartisan but is not apolitical. We do take stances against policies that threaten our mission and encourage the Lang community to do the same.
The executive orders signed last week threaten more than the Muslim community, immigrants and refugees. They vilified people of Mexican descent, threatened the rights of indigenous communities by renewing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, threatened our environment by walking back environmental protections, and put countless lives at risk by removing aid to organizations that provide information on women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. CESJ will continue to share ways to build power, resistance and community in our weekly newsletter in the coming weeks.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Below are sources of support available to you:
Student Engagement and Global Programs at Lang
Lang Civic Engagement & Social Justice
Christina Dawkins, Director
Kendra Danowski, Assistant Director