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Submitted by Brian Hughes on Thu, 2017-02-09 12:16

The atmosphere of suspicion and insecurity created by the undermining of truth provides the perfect environment for President Trump’s recent actions on immigration. The American university’s future, indeed its most fundamental reason for being, is imperiled by a government that constructs walls on the Mexican border, restricts Muslim immigrants and denigrates the idea of America as a destination for refugees.

Read the whole opinion piece for an interesting take on the responsibilities of universities by Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College.

I think the new atmosphere of blatant lies coming out of the Executive branch of American government is indeed a call to arms for universities. I wonder, what can and should EdLab do to respond?

Pranav Garg Says:
Sat, 2017-02-11 18:10

Brian given the times, I feel its reasonable for people opposed to POTUS idea's to follow the recommendation of Late MLK daughter advice.

Here it is

Some Wise Advice Circulating:
1. Use his name sparingly so as not to detract from the issues. I believe that everyone, regardless of their beliefs, deserves the dignity of being called by their name. However, this is a strategic tactic. While we are so focused on him we are prone to neglect the questionable policies that threaten freedom, justice and fairness advanced by the administration.
2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone;
3. Do not argue with those who support him and his policies--it doesn't work;
4. Focus on his policies, not his appearance and mental state;
5. Keep your message positive; those who oppose peace and justice want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
7. Support artists and the arts;
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
9. Take care of yourselves; and
10. Resist!
Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, "When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."
When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to "The Republican Administration," or "The Republicans." This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don't like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.

Pranav Garg Says:
Sat, 2017-02-11 18:16

so coming back to your question EdLab can do a lot of things
1. Raise awareness of the implications of the executive orders with respect to short term and long term using TCR newsletter.
2. Have courses created about why religion tolerance is required and why we moved to it from the past.
3. What ways folks can make a change (making them aware of their power)
4. collaborating with other institutions participating. Using the network to create a much bigger power than what it is.
5. Contacting the republican senators about the resentment from the policies.

Andrew Visser Says:
Thu, 2017-02-09 14:58

Thanks for sharing Brian. I was struck by the following section:

"He [Trump] has undermined public confidence in the electoral system. In the face of this, standing up for the truth — which is, after all, higher education’s business — might appear to be an act of political partisanship. But this is not about political parties. It is about the proper role of the academy in a troubling time."

How can we also make sure that however we engage with these issue, that we can work with those people on the traditional "right" of politics in order to uphold basic ideas of truth and scientific fact? It seems educational institutions run a grave danger of being portrayed as purely partisan, and therefore as easily undermined by the Trump administration as the electoral system. How do we find, reach out to, and collaborate with decent Republicans and/or conservatives in this fight for reality?