To the UCI Community:
I am sure that you now know about the recent deplorable conduct mocking Black History Month and African American students at UCSD.
It is shocking to see these actions, especially within our University of California, where we expect everyone to share a core respect for enlightenment through learning. It saddens me to know how many students have been hurt by these ugly incidents. While I understand that we will likely always have to deal with racial intolerance within a diverse society, we must understand that it injures us all.
But no matter what, we must remember that the University of California as an institution of higher learning is better than this. The overwhelming majority of the University community does not think what happened at UCSD is acceptable. We can extend our sympathy, support and reassure all that an educated community does not endorse or remain sanguine about racial intolerance even when we cannot change everyone’s minds and hearts.
Whatever the outcome from the investigation into these incidents, that is currently underway, let us strive, each of us and all of us, to be more compassionate and accepting of differences, more appreciative of the benefits of our diversity, and more proactive in offering understanding rather than judgment. We can all do better, and this is the perfect moment to reflect on where each of us has been and where, together, we want to go.
I am proud of the positive things that we represent and have accomplished on this campus, and I know we will rise to meet this challenge as well, standing together as an example of civility, open inquiry and engaged learning.
Manuel N. Gómez, Ph.D.