As the nation’s leading business voice for education, we applaud companies that continue to take a stand to ensure all children have an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute to their communities. We believe in and will defend the potential of every child, regardless of their race, religion, or family background. We were deeply saddened and troubled by the display of hate and violence this past weekend in Charlottesville.

We’re all for a vigorous debate about our history, our culture, and our future, but there can be no place for what we saw demonstrated by white supremacists marching under Nazi banners. Their words and actions should offend our collective conscience as they offend our American values. That is why we are also disappointed that our President has chosen to portray as victims those same people who tried to intimidate and instill fear in others, and to equate those who oppose their beliefs and tactics as somehow deserving of the same condemnation. In reopening these wounds, an opportunity was missed to unite our country and to reject the appalling violence that unfolded.

We join the chorus of Americans, including our colleagues fighting for better education, in speaking out about the past several days. We are also encouraged that this week our country’s top business leaders used their collective voice to strongly disagree with the President, demonstrating their leadership and commitment to the basic freedoms and principles that unite us. We stand with them and others who put our most cherished American ideals ahead of politics and reject the hate espoused by those who seek only to divide us.
Photo: Sanjay Suchak/Courtesy U.Va.