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Assault on Democracy — Letter from President Wingenbach

“I am grateful to be part of a community committed to building a more just world, and hope everyone at Hampshire can take courage from our collective values and solidarity.”

Yesterday, a violent mob incited by Donald Trump assaulted the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate outcome of the election. Trump directing his followers to storm the Capitol to disrupt the peaceful transition of power represents a culmination of the actions of this regime, not a departure. It is despicable and deplorable, but not, sadly, shocking. Trump and his enablers have consistently attacked the tenets of democracy, and Trump’s open embrace of white supremacy is the foundation of his power to mobilize followers. Their rejection of the election results is a negation of multi-racial democracy. It is an attempt to preserve an order suffused by injustice and built upon oppression, disenfranchisement, and voter suppression.

While the immediate crisis seems to have dissipated, we must remain vigilant. The ideology Trump advances will not go away when he does, as it did not come to power with his rise. Following the election, I wrote that “the outcome of the election only mitigates the march of a number of disturbing trends in our country.” Hampshire’s educational model and social justice mission express a commitment to resist those trends and build a more equitable society. Together, we will continue to push forward our commitments through community engagement, academic work, co-curricular activities, programming in the learning collaboratives, and beyond.

I hope that everyone in the Hampshire College community is safe, particularly those of you in Washington D.C. If you need support, please draw upon the counseling and advising resources available through the College. I am grateful to be part of a community committed to building a more just world, and hope everyone at Hampshire can take courage from our collective values and solidarity.

Ed Wingenbach
President
 

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