Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement strongly condemning hate groups, including those that target public university campuses.
“We strongly condemn white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and other hate groups that aim to advance their warped worldview through racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic rhetoric and actions. Sadly, these fringe groups – whose odious views are rooted in demeaning lies and false stereotypes – still find followers in the dark recesses of society.
“Precisely because public universities are and always must remain committed to free speech, hate groups have aimed to turn campuses into flashpoints. What’s more, public universities have a large number of students who may well protest hate speech. Hate groups know their demonstrations, including violent ones, can and do spark a spectacle and ultimately draw attention to their hateful views.
“Still, we must denounce their hateful rhetoric. The First Amendment is not just a right. It’s also a responsibility. We must speak out against evil, hateful beliefs through free speech of our own that advances the shared American value of equality. The struggle against hate will only be won through education and public understanding.”