Chancellor Harvey Perlman issued the following message to UNL administrators, faculty, staff and students on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, regarding recent incidents at UNL.
“Dear members of the UNL community,
It is with a deep sense of disappointment that I write to each of you as a member of the UNL community. We have experienced recent incidents of racial and ethnic intolerance and insensitivity – incidents that have brought pain to all of us who care about the university and the people who make it special, and particularly to those of us against whom they were addressed.
The use of the N-word and insensitive racial impersonations are the recent incidents that demand our immediate attention.
Racial epithets and racial impersonations are not acceptable anywhere but especially in an institution devoted to education and progress. These acts are not funny. They are not symbolic. They are only cruel. They reflect either malevolence or ignorance.
I am deeply hurt that use of this language has been used here, for purposes I can’t imagine and in venues where civil discourse and its values are honored. We don’t need to debate any nuance of free speech to conclude such language is harmful, despicable, and intolerable.
To those few of us who seem indifferent to the boundaries of basic common decency, I refer you to the fate of those who march on the wrong side of history. To the rest of us, I urge us not to remain silent or indifferent, but to confront and speak out against such outrages and embrace those against whom they are directed. I know we are not the only place where these actions have occurred. But I ask all of you to rise up and say, ‘Not here, not now.’
Harvey Perlman, chancellor”