February 21, 2017
Yesterday morning, our colleague Dr. Charmaine Nelson, Professor of Art History at McGill, published an article in the Huffington Post exploring the colonial roots of contemporary racism in Canada (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/charmaine-nelson/modern-racismcanada_b_1482...). A few hours later, Dr. Nelson received an intimidating e-mail from a white supremacist organization based in British Columbia.
In these times, racist denials of history and basic human rights have become common currency, their authors emboldened by irresponsible political leaders. Reasonable public discourse has become more difficult than at any time in living memory.
We cherish the work being done by Professor Nelson and others like her, who not only contribute to our understanding of history and the present, but do so courageously in public fora as well as within the confines of the academy. We stand in solidarity with our colleague Charmaine and will not allow her voice to be silenced.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History and Communication Studies
Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications