Thank you for speaking up and standing up for unity in our shared community while we face neo-Nazis this weekend.

The Evergreen State College, St. Martin’s University and South Puget Sound Community College take great pride in our welcoming community and in the roles our institutions have played in making this one of the most vibrant, diverse, creative and respected communities in Washington state. These qualities are a beacon that attracts the best and brightest people and businesses to our area.

Ironically, it is these very qualities that have attracted the neo-Nazis to us.


Hate does not build community; it tears communities apart. Hate does not add to our community conversation; it sows violence and destruction. Hate does not make a good neighbor, a fine friend or a worthwhile leader.

While our democracy allows the neo-Nazi the freedom to spew their abhorrent rhetoric into the public marketplace of ideas, we, as a community, have a responsibility to vigorously and loudly counter them with our own positive, community-affirming message.

Thomas “Les” Purce is president of The Evergreen State College. Douglas Astolfi is president of Saint Martin’s University , and Kenneth J. Minnaert is president of South Puget Sound Community College.

Read the whole essay School presidents stand united against neo-Nazi hatred The Olympian » Opinion : » Local columnists ~ July 02, 2006 ~ by Thomas ‘Les’ Purce, Douglas Astolfi and Kenneth J. Minnaert

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