The New York Times Publishes President Johnson's “What Wellesley Stands For”
November 16, 2016
The New York Times Opinion Pages published a letter to the editor by President Paula A. Johnson titled “What Wellesley Stands For.” The letter was written in response to the Times’ November 11 article, “Hostile Acts Against Minorities, Often Invoking Trump, Erupts Across U.S.” It read as follows, in its entirety:
To the Editor:
Re “Hostile Acts Against Minorities, Often Invoking Trump, Erupt Across U.S.” (news article, Nov. 11):
The fact that The New York Times was able to document so many adverse incidents on school campuses immediately after the election is reason for serious concern. It would be irresponsible to chalk up these troubling confrontations—which have overtones of discrimination and intimidation—to mere clashes of political opinion without full investigation.
And perhaps most important, to dismiss anyone’s reaction to hateful acts as oversensitive political correctness is to be complicit in these acts.
I disagree with your characterization that Wellesley was founded as a safe space. Wellesley’s founding was a revolutionary act inspired by a vision for democracy and equal opportunity for women across all socioeconomic backgrounds, and for more than 100 years, we have fought for women.
At Wellesley, we embrace difference and work to assure that all Wellesley students have an equal opportunity to flourish. We stand for equity and justice, for the pursuit of knowledge that is based in fact, and for civil discourse that is inclusive while challenging in its rigor.
It is incumbent upon President-elect Donald Trump to clearly and forcefully condemn episodes of bias against groups too numerous to name here. Far from playing it safe, Wellesley’s plan is to remain vigilant and redouble our efforts on behalf of women.
President, Wellesley College