Message concerning the D.C. riots from President M. Roy Wilson

Dear campus community,

By now, all of you are aware of yesterday’s events in Washington. Much has been said and written already, and more is to come, so I won’t recount what transpired, but I join all others in their condemnation of the despicable behavior of the mob that stormed the nation’s Capitol yesterday. I was deeply troubled by what I witnessed, including the lack of preparation for and tepid police reaction to yesterday’s riot. I remain concerned, but I also am hopeful. The Constitution held. America did not break. The sun rose, and we began a new day.

The nation, however, was wounded, and needs to heal. It needs our help to do so, and I offer these few thoughts. We are a diverse nation, just as we are a diverse university. This is a strength, but it must be nurtured so that it becomes a point of pride and unity, not a source of divisiveness. To tap this strength, we need to listen to and respect others, even those with whom we disagree. We must resist the urge for vengeance, blame or recrimination, and forego the impulse to label and condemn large segments of the population.

We have heard from many members of the campus community. Many are anxious, angry or concerned. We understand, and we have resources to support students, faculty and staff. 

We are not a nation known for humility, but my hope is that many of us were humbled by what we witnessed yesterday. Our nation is strong, but it is not invincible. Democracy is not guaranteed. If you stayed up late last night, however, you saw democracy working, and I am grateful for the members of the U.S. House and Senate who did their duty with resolve and courage. Many spoke about the need to unify as Americans, even when we disagree with each other. That was heartening, but it doesn’t come with a guarantee. It takes work. We must come together for the sake of each other and the sake of the nation, just as we do in our small corner of the country, at Wayne State University.

Regards,

M. Roy Wilson

M. Roy Wilson
President

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