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Department of History's Statement of Values

This campus and others have periodically been the target of hateful posters and other media designed to incite fear and loathing of various groups of people. Recent incidents have attempted to encourage anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, and anti-African-American hatred, among others. As historians, we are all familiar with the frightful history of this type of dehumanizing rhetoric, and aware of its devastating cost to the communities in which it is mobilized and tolerated.

 

In light of that history, everyone should be aware that those who advocate hatred of others make themselves open supporters of policies and actions that are disastrous for the entire human community—systematic discrimination, contempt for the law, chaotic civil violence, the destruction of democracy, tyranny, global war, and mass murder.

The open expression of vicious lies and fake fears regarding any group is incompatible with the constitutional order of our state and country, and with the fundamental values of our democratic society. Because of the catastrophic history of such rhetoric in our country and around the world, we urge the entire campus community to remain actively true to UC Davis' Principles of Community, and to the essential democratic civic virtues of truthfulness, mutual respect, and civic solidarity.  We urge the entire campus community to reject inwardly, and denounce openly, those who are attempting to tear our country apart and to sow hatred and lust for violence among us. 

The defense of democracy and of civil order requires of us more than passive civility or tolerance.  It requires that we actively denounce and resist the erosion of the values fundamental to the freedom and to the law and order that we cherish, and on which the lives and liberties of all of us ultimately depend.

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