On Jan. 6, 2021, for the first time in American history, a Confederate flag was marched into the U.S. Capitol. That symbol is not only an offense against the democratic values we revere, it also represents a shameful history that over 160 years ago we - as Americans - fought against.
The mob of insurrectionists that stormed the Capitol shocked us all. And yet, their brazen refusal to accept the outcomes of a free and fair election, and their assault on the workings of democracy, are an extension of an administration that has consistently used ugly words and carried out equally ugly deeds. The coming change in presidential leadership will not purge our nation of the hate and ignorance that has been unleashed during the past four years. As Pope Francis reminds us in Fratelli Tutti, “there is no end to the building of a country’s social peace.” As we have clearly seen over the past year, and most explicitly yesterday, building out social peace is imperative.
For the past 75 years, Le Moyne College has been committed to such work. The core of a Jesuit, liberal arts education is to shed light - the light of knowledge, of faith, and of truth - on the problems and suffering of a complex world. As we condemn the actions of the mob and the words of the president, we also affirm the Jesuit values that have always, and will always, oppose the lawlessness of a mob, the jealousy of an autocrat, or the fabrications of a demagogue.
Our undergraduate core curriculum and liberal arts foundation teach the knowledge, intellectual skills, and habits of mind that help each Le Moyne student contribute to the health and well-being of a free and equal democracy. As we continue to focus our energy on becoming an anti-racist institution, we will renew our dedication to educate men and women capable of just and ethical leadership in a pluralistic and equitable society.
Knowledgeable and compassionate leadership now and in the decades to come is essential for the success of our democratic experiment. Abraham Lincoln told us that “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.“ As much as the events witnessed in Washington, D.C. disturb and dismay us, we remain convinced that the values at the heart of a Le Moyne education will prevail in the face of those who seek to sow division and political chaos.
Please join us in praying for those who died and that our elected officials have the wisdom and courage to take actions that help us begin to heal our fractured nation.
Linda LeMura, Ph.D.
Joseph Marina, S.J.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Beth Mitchell, Ph.D.
Faculty Senate President
Danny Bonsangue ‘21
Student Government Association President