Dear Earlham community,
As I mentioned in my Weekly Update video, I am still processing the terrible attack on the Capitol building — on our democracy — on Wednesday. I am sure you are all as well.
First, let me step back for a moment and rejoice with you on the highest number ever of Americans voting in the presidential elections this November, and the highest percentage of citizens voting since 1900 (and also the highest percentage of voters since women were allowed to vote in 1920). More people of color voted, more young people, more women – it was the most diverse and representative group of voters in our nation’s history. What a hopeful promise for what a democracy with a fully engaged citizenry can be. What a wonderful historical moment that everyone is our country should celebrate.
And yet not everyone in our country celebrates the increased participation of all Americans in the political process, even though you might expect this to be perceived as a broadly bipartisan positive. I believe that the falsehoods, the conspiracy theories, the violent rhetoric and now actual physical violence encouraged by the president is a direct response to this increased engagement of diverse voters, seen as a threat by the racist nationalists that comprise a significant minority of Americans.
I believe that an Earlham education uniquely prepares students for the difficult conversations that democracy demands of us. Earlham was founded on the rejection of violence as a solution ever, on a commitment to following truth wherever it leads, and on seeing and responding to the light that we know resides within each of us. These are principles and practices that our country needs to heal, so I will leave you with a query: How can Earlham contribute to healing this terrible wound to our democracy and our nation?
Holding each of you in the light,