Our University welcomes the free exchange of ideas. But it also must be a place where we confront anger and hate that arise from ignorance.
It is not enough to passively dismiss hate speech as the rant of the foolish and ill-informed. We must make clear, as loudly and as often as we can, that our University has no patience for the peddlers of poisonous views. We must be vigilant in our advocacy of our core principles of diversity and inclusion and compassion; and we must answer the pitiful and lonely language of hate with a strong chorus of voices proudly embracing the value of each and every member of our community.
In recognition of the principles of the U.S. Constitution, individuals recognized by the Kentucky Secretary of State as candidates for public office were invited to campus. One of those candidates, Robert Ransdell, chose to use the opportunity to engage in hate speech that insulted members of our community and our important guests from Kentucky high schools. The remarks were offensive and appalling. And though cloaked in the garment of free speech, the words reflect a remarkable level of anger and ignorance.
Everyone is free to believe what they believe; and say what they want to say. But the language of hate aimed at the diminishment of anyone has no place in our community and is contrary to the values of our University. We believe proudly in diversity; and we welcome and support everyone who seeks an education here; who works here; who seeks care here; and who are our guests here.
Our University - our home - belongs to everyone.