Executive Committee's Statement re: Violence in the Capital
Posted: Jan 11, 2021 - 04:00pm
Last week’s events in the nation’s capital have rocked the country and the world and have called into question the stability and future of our democratic institutions.
As political scientists, we recognize that now more than ever our work as educators and students of politics could not be more important. As a department we have a deep commitment to educating students and the broader public in the institutional norms of democracy and self-rule, not only here but all over world. Consistent with the thought of President Thomas Jefferson, it is our view that a citizenry which understands and accepts these norms is best prepared to defend our system of government and way of life.
We will continue to promote the value of civic education in the essential features of democratic institutions and practices in our classrooms, discipline, and community. Our department remains committed to research and teaching that helps people identify and address misinformation that erodes our democracy, contributes to polarization and foments violent conflict. We also recognize the deep racial disparity of the police response at the US Capitol last week compared to that which followed BLM protests in summer 2020. In the coming months we will be discussing additional ways that we can deepen our effort to provide and facilitate knowledge about US political institutions and democracy at all levels of government, guided by the principle articulated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 that “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
In the wake of McCarthyism in the 1950s and the Watergate scandal and resignation of President Nixon in the 1970s, our national institutions emerged stronger. We are confident that they will do so again in response to this crisis.
Please stay safe and healthy.
UNM Political Science Department Executive Committee:
Dr. Timothy Krebs, Dr. William Stanley, Dr. Michael Rocca, and Dr. Jami Nelson-Nuñez