Message on Preserving Our Democracy

To the NJCU Community,

This week, our nation endured one of its darkest days in recent American history when a mob of rioters swarmed the United States Capitol. Both the House and the Senate chambers were breached and the nation saw troubling images of agitators roaming congressional corridors.

In the wake of these disturbing, unpatriotic events, we are all dealing with a range of emotions — shock, sadness, anger, and disgust, among them.

Regardless of one’s opinions and political ideologies, these unprecedented events were an assault on our democracy, and should be condemned in the strongest possible way.

If 2020 has demonstrated anything, we, the American people are resilient, as we have been throughout our nation’s history. We are a nation formed from its original 13 colonies and continually reshaped by land expansion, a civil war, immigration, the industrial revolution, two world wars, the civil rights movement and other significant moments over our more than 244 years. Our democracy is a model for the world.

To quote Barack Obama in his new book, A Promised Land

“For I am convinced that the pandemic we are currently living through is both a manifestation of and a mere interruption in the relentless march toward an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide.  

In that world — of global supply chains, instantaneous capital transfers, social media, transnational terrorist networks, climate change, mass migration, and ever-increasing complexity — we will learn to live together, cooperate with one another, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish.  

And so the world watches America — the only great power in history made of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice — to see if our experiment in democracy can work.  To see if we can actually live up to the meaning of our creed.”

I, for one, think we are up to our task.

Sue Henderson, Ph.D.