I’m back! And the funny thing is, I didn’t plan to be away for this long. Immediately after my last final in December, I left the country to visit my brother in Peru. I had planned to post occasionally from there but while I was in some truly amazing places, from the Amazon rainforest to Macchu Picchu, I was mostly without reliable internet connections and thus I couldn’t write until I got back. I have a fair bit to say and, over the coming weeks, I’ll share a good deal with you.
For now, however, let me simply wish all of you a happy and healthy new year and let me close with a couple of interesting things I noted in the new passports issued by the United States government. Each of the visa pages has a quotation at the top. Two struck me in light of the events engaged in last year by the Butler administration.
The first, by John F. Kennedy, reads as follows: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
The second, by Anna Julia Cooper, reads as follows: “The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.”
Those in charge of Butler University have acted this past year in a fashion diametrically opposed to these simple but important statements. They seem to believe that the only thing that is worth protecting is their own self image. They sacrificed freedom of speech, the very cornerstone of liberty and freedom, when they heard sentiments they didn’t like. They acted as if freedom was a birthright only to those in power rather than “the very birthright of humanity.” As I’ve said before, and as so many others around the country have echoed, they should be ashamed of themselves.
There is another quotation in the new passports that I also like. Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “This is a new nation, based on a mighty continent, of boundless possibilities.” In the Butler context, and at the onset of a new year, I want very much to see this as a prophetic statement – one which praises the strengths and talents of the faculty and students of the university while looking to a time in the not-too-distant future when the “mighty” university is made “new” by having a different, more thoughtful and far more caring administration at the helm.
Again, I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season.