Editorial: Herbst remarks, yesterday’s vigil a reminder that UConn must stand strong against hate

Accounting professor Mohamed E. Hussein addresses the vigil on the Student Union Quad. (Amar Batra/TheDaily Campus)

On Aug. 12, 2017 the world watched as the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia was turned into a battleground. People watched in horror as fascist, anti-Semitic, KKK and Islamaphobic protestors attacked counter-protesters.  By the end of the day three people were dead and countless others were injured.

Following the violence, UConn President Susan Herbst issued a statement to all UConn students condemning the ideologies presented by the alt-right supporters and reminded everyone that UConn is a school that has no place for hate.

Both the alt-right, KKK protest in Charlottesville and the Nazi-esque march through the University of Virginia the night before should come as no surprise to anyone. Over the past year, the world has seen how divided the United States is as a nation and many ideologies that felt dead have once again reared their ugly heads.

In this Aug. 12, 2017 file photo, rescue personnel help injured people who were hit when a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

As an institution of higher learning, the University of Connecticut makes every effort to allow free speech and differences of opinions to be talked about in a safe, open space. Discussions of this nature are imperative to creating a more intellectual and complete society. As President Herbst made clear, however, speech that seeks to divide our population and discriminate against or hurt members of the UConn and world community has no place on our campus.

Herbst acted more presidential than others would during such trying times and reminded the student body exactly what UConn stands for and believes in.

President Herbst’s statement and the hundreds of students who turned up to yesterday’s vigil have shown that the UConn community will not allow hate to persist on any corner of this campus.

The world has already seen the kind of destruction that can be brought when a group of people decide that white power and fierce nationalism are the only way forward. The UConn community, the country and the world cannot allow that to happen again.