Updated: Apr 30, 2019
On November 16, 2016, Endangered Scholars Worldwide transmitted a letter of protest to US President-elect Donald Trump's office regarding the ongoing and increasing severity of threats made against students and faculty members based on their race or religion.
Dear President-Elect Trump,
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the escalating number of incidents of aggression experienced by students, faculty, and staff in educational institutions across the country after the U.S presidential elections.
The ongoing and increasing severity of threats made against students and faculty members based on their race or religion have added to grave concerns about the ability of scholars, intellectuals, and students to work safely in American educational settings, particularly at the university level, where education is elective.
On Saturday, November 12, 2016, swastikas were discovered on four dorm rooms at The New School, home to Endangered Scholars Worldwide and the original University in Exile, the academic home given to scholars threatened by the Nazi rise to power in 1933. On the same day, two bathrooms at Reed College's library in Oregon were defaced with racist, homophobic, antiSemitic and proTrump graffitis.
There have been similar incidents across the U.S. in the wake of the presidential election. Most of the cases appear to involve graffiti or violence directed at racial or ethnic minorities. In some reports the perpetrators indicated support for President-elect Donald Trump. Some of the cases were reported by police, however, many more appeared on social media as anecdotes, and not all have been independently verified. African Americans and Muslims have reported a dramatic rise in racist remarks since Trump’s Tuesday election. At the University of Pennsylvania, students were added to a chat group where users with names like “Daddy Trump” sent them racial and sexist slurs, along with an invitation to an event called “Daily Lynching.” Anonymous users also called the students “dumb slaves” and sent a picture of a mass-lynching with the caption “I love America.” As of this report, a University of Oklahoma student has been suspended in connection with the messages.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide respectfully urges the president-elect to speak out against these unacceptable attacks and stand in solidarity with higher education authorities who are investigating these incidents and taking the appropriate measures to guaranty the safety and well being of students, faculty, and staff. The targeting of scholars, professors, and students seriously undermines the mission of institutions of higher learning to provide safe environments in which everyone is respected and teaching and learning is fostered.