Penn President Amy Gutmann: Disavow the intolerant views of alum Donald Trump!

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Penn President Amy Gutmann: Disavow the intolerant views of alum Donald Trump!

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President Amy Gutmann and

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Started by Nathaniel Popkin

To President Amy Gutmann and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania:

The Republican nominee for President, Donald J. Trump, is a dangerous con-man whose beliefs, words, and actions are inimical to the history and spirit of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump vows to ban new Muslim immigrants and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. He mocks those with physical disabilities. He undermines the legitimacy of President Barack Obama through racist innuendo. He vilely objectifies women, half the nation’s populace. His campaign aligns with renowned white supremacists. His political statements have been shown to be false 91 percent of the time. All this makes him a danger to the political and cultural life of the United States and the world. Yet, when Mr. Trump needs to cloak himself in legitimacy, he reminds the media that he is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The world is to believe he learned these traits at Penn.

Such a man can be stopped but not if we pretend he is a usual candidate nor this an ordinary election.

Penn’s soaring international reputation is based on its intellectual rigor alongside its embrace of multiculturalism. The close association of Donald J. Trump with the University undermines this distinguished identity. 

Penn’s charitable, tax-exempt status means it is prohibited from making political endorsements. We are not asking President Gutmann or the Trustees to violate that law. Rather, we implore the President and Trustees to make an official statement affirming the University’s values in contrast to those of Mr. Trump. This statement will serve as clarification of Penn’s signature culture of openness, diversity, and the advancement of rights of women and minority groups.

The university of Benjamin Franklin, architect of the civic life of the United States, of Sadie Mosell Alexander, the first African American woman in America to be awarded a PhD in economics, of Alice Paul, leader of the women's suffrage movement, of Ahmed Zewail, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, must not idly abide a demagogue who cloaks himself in red and blue.

We the undersigned Penn alumni, staff, faculty, and students ask President Gutmann and the Board of Trustees to state publicly that:  

The University of Pennsylvania values respect for all people in its campus community, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, and believes, as the university's founder Benjamin Franklin did, that self-governance necessitates honesty, modesty, and self-control. While Donald J. Trump is free to talk about his association with the University, the values he articulates in public discourse do not reflect those of Penn. 




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