Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Quote of the moment: UC Berkeley chancellor on the Arizona shooting and immigration

"A climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to such a tragedy."

- Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor of UC Berkeley, in a letter to the campus community


UC Berkeley News has published Birgeneau's letter, in which he cites Arizona's political climate as it relates to immigration - in particular, the state's embrace of controversial anti-illegal immigration legislation - as contributing to an environment "in which such an act can be contemplated, even by a mind that is profoundly disturbed."

Here's the quote in context:

Such a brutal and violent attack on an individual who has devoted herself to public service is deeply regrettable. It calls upon us as an academic community to stop and ponder the climate in which such an act can be contemplated, even by a mind that is profoundly disturbed. A climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated can lead to such a tragedy. I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.

Birgeneau, who also mentions the recently-defeated Dream Act, goes on to urge the academic community to "continue to work toward a climate of equity and inclusion for all."
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