Regardless of whether the particular conclusions he draws are correct or not, or whether his chosen language is hyperbolic, he has made a worthwhile contribution that other members of the University community should engage with rather than condemn.
Our “apolitical” campus seems to be bordering on apathetic. Although voting has never been more important, Princetonians are still lagging behind the rest of the country and even other universities in voter turnout. The 2020 elections are coming fast, and we should not — we cannot — stand behind the walls of the “bubble” while others decide our future for us.
We, the undersigned students and alumni of the Princeton Department of Classics and the Department of Linguistics, unequivocally denounce “A Declaration of Independence by a Princeton Professor,” written by Professor of Classics Joshua T. Katz. We condemn its demonization of student organizers, its belittling of faculty members in their support of anti-racism, and its flippant dismissal of efforts to combat systemic racism at Princeton while minimizing the very presence of that racism itself.
Princeton’s international students have always been a key part of the vibrant academic and social community the University is greatly known for. Dismissing them during these times would be of great disservice to Princeton as a whole.
Both this country and the University have a long history of benefiting from foreign talent; international students and scholars have been part of the lifeblood of American academia since the dawn of this nation. To allow this injustice and manipulation to persist would be to watch idly as the United States is led further into isolationism and darkness.
As members of the Princeton Filipino Community, we would like to take this moment to provide further context about Filipino current events, reflect on our country’s experiences with dictatorship and struggle for representation, and express our continued hope for the future of the Philippines and for democracy.