LeBlanc condemns ‘senseless’ violence in Charlottesville

University President Thomas LeBlanc released a statement Monday condemning the “acts of racism and hate” that occurred this past weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

In the statement, LeBlanc said the community in Charlottesville was attacked by “white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups who stand for racial and religious intolerance and hatred.” He said that the GW community needs to stand up against these acts.

“While I will not be commenting on every issue that faces our country, I believe as a University we must condemn acts of racism and hate that are directly counter to our core values of tolerance, diversity, and peaceful discourse,” LeBlanc said in the release.

The University continues to value free speech and open dialogue, but will not tolerate violence or hatred under the guise of free speech, LeBlanc said. He said that he condemned these actions and offered his condolences to the families affected by the “senseless violence in Charlottesville.”

In March, posters promoting a “white nation” were found on campus. GW removed the posters, and a University spokeswoman said that the language used in the fliers went against the University’s values.

This was the first statement on a national issue that LeBlanc, who was named president in January and assumed the role this month, released as president.

Former University President Steven Knapp released statements on current events around the nation during his tenure, including when racist incidents occurred at D.C. area universities and when the president issued an executive order on immigration restrictions.

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