The acts of violence in Charlottesville represented an assault on the very foundations of our democracy, and an affront to all people who believe the strength of our future as a nation hinges upon our ability to become a more tolerant nation, a nation that fully respects and includes all Americans, in all of our diversity.
An equally enduring threat to American democracy is the “myth of many sides” — the myth that all sides of an argument have equal value.
This is a unique time of false equivalencies, when real news is labeled fake news and fake news is spun as the truth. So, the role of members of the academic community as sources of facts and context is more important now than ever. Public participation — public engagement — is a responsibility we in the academic world can and must embrace. All of us must do more to counteract misinformation and outright bigotry.