Message from the President - Charlottesville
August 14, 2017
White supremacy and hate have no place at Santa Barbara City College!
I want to be crystal clear and unambiguous about this point. At Santa Barbara City College, we stand for equity and access to opportunity. Our goal relates to the ability of people to realize their full potential and ties to individuals being happy, healthy, independent, respected, and liberated.
This is reflected in our college vision:
SBCC strives to build a socially conscious community where knowledge and respect empower individuals to transform our world.
At its core, social consciousness is the foundation of education. An education that ignores social realities and teaches a curriculum stripped of and detached from an individual’s ability to contribute to a more just and equitable world is a disservice to its participants. Instead of creating a healthy community with true civic engagement, an education devoid of social elements builds a society of apathetic, uncritical citizens lacking true meaning and purpose.
The events that took place in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia have impacted us all. They are a reminder that the hateful and violent ideology of white supremacy continues to terrorize communities across the country.
Santa Barbara City College sends its condolences and heartfelt thoughts to the friends and families of those who died and were injured, our colleagues at the University of Virginia, and all those who are affected by violence, hatred, and racism stemming from white supremacist ideology.
At Santa Barbara City College, we have recognized the need to be outspoken in our support for our students. Last year, our Board of Trustees adopted Resolution 17, stating support for ALL students. This statement is a critical reaffirmation of key values of the College, which focuses on providing educational access and supporting success for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, age, gender, language, socio-economic status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, medical condition or disability. The resolution also compels the College to ensure that all students have an opportunity to receive an education, regardless of immigration status and any other protected status.
I will tell you right now in a clear, unambiguous, and full voice that what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia was wrong. The hate and racism being spewed by a group of neo-Nazis and white supremacists is abhorrent. As the mayor of Charlottesville said, “neo-Nazis and white supremacists are not welcome in our town.” Well, they are not welcome here at SBCC, either.
Pastor John Pavlovitz, a Southern preacher, said yesterday, that,
What we’ve watched unfolding in Charlottesville, with hundreds of white people bearing torches and chanting about the supreme value of white lives and shouting slurs, is not a “far Right” protest. When you move that far right, past humanity, past decency, past goodness—you’re something else.
Pastor John Pavlovitz went on to say,
This is racism.
This is domestic terrorism.
This is religious extremism.
This is bigotry.
It is blind hatred of the most vile kind.
It doesn’t represent America.
It doesn’t represent Jesus.
It doesn’t speak for the majority of white Americans.
As we prepare to receive new students at the Vaquero Welcome and hold our annual all staff and faculty in-service this week, we are determined to promote our commitment to student, staff, and faculty safety, equity, diversity and solidarity against white supremacist hatred, violence, and racism. In the face of racism, we must continue to celebrate and highlight the diverse backgrounds and cultures that make up the fabric of our country, community, and college.
As students, staff, and faculty begin their arrival to our campus, it is important that our returning and incoming students, their parents, and our community receive the message that we are standing against these acts of racism, and hatred and that SBCC is a safe campus for all. When we see evil, we must speak out clearly against it without adornment, finesse, or nuance. We cannot be silent. When it comes to evil, there is no such thing as an “innocent bystander.” Silence is consent.
Anthony E. Beebe, Ph.D., Ed.D.
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