The results of the recent presidential election in the United States have been accompanied by a troubling increase in cases of hateful speech, harassment, and acts of violence against members of historically vulnerable communities.
The Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), a scholarly organization for digital humanists based in the United States, condemns in the strongest possible terms state and federal proposals that would exacerbate this trend by targeting ethnic and religious groups, people of color, LGBTQIA communities, and others in ways that are antithetical to the principles of diversity, inclusion, access, liberty, free expression, and equal rights. The implementation of inhumane and divisive conditions for immigration, such as border walls; the elimination of healthcare and civil protections for LGBTQIA, the poor, and other underrepresented groups; and the exercise of political persecution, hate speech and/or curtailments of freedom of the press and the academy all contravene these principles and are worryingly reminiscent of policies from past fascist regimes. ACH opposes the resurgence of oppressive practices, the potential rollback of civil liberties, and all acts of hate against U.S. citizens, immigrants, or citizens of other nations.
ACH hereby advocates for a peaceful, caring, and non-violent resistance to discrimination and injustice and pledges to:
- support our academic colleagues who may be at risk;
- reaffirm the recognition that intellectual, cultural, institutional, and other forms of diversity make a vital contribution to scholarship, practice, and our daily lives;
- commit our work towards a humanistic understanding of the impact technology is having in shaping and spreading fascist values, and support the creation of alternative and resistant infrastructures and platforms to promote communities of humanities scholars that are based on mutual respect for diversity and civil rights;
- advocate for the importance of academic freedom and the creation and preservation of archives against cuts to funding, access, classification, and erasure; and
- promote social change and contribute to a more socially and publicly engaged academia by dedicating awards funding to work in digital humanities that explicitly addresses current socio-political issues.
To accomplish this, we welcome ideas and points of action, especially as they may facilitate initiatives to protect our constituents against discrimination in all its forms, whether racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, misogyny, or ableism. To our members in a position to do so, we further ask you to join in this effort and to help us reach out and support ACH colleagues. Finally, we encourage ACH members to contact any member of the Executive Council to ask for assistance as we move forward.