MIT profs call Trump 'significant step' toward 'fascism'

Amber Athey
Investigative Reporter

  • Faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are promising to collectively resist Donald Trump, calling his election “cause for alarm” and a “significant step” toward fascism.
  • The 46 professors who pledged to "harness the power of our identity as faculty" to resist Trump acknowledge that their views do not "sit well with many of our colleagues," but say it is better to "err on the side of overstatement."
  • Faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are promising to collectively resist Donald Trump, calling his election “cause for alarm” and a “significant step” toward fascism.

    On a webpage called “Faculty for Democracy,” 46 MIT professors have signed a statement called “Do We Act Now?” calling for community members to “collectively respond” to Trump’s policies and proposals that they feel threaten a “just and equitable society.”

    “We need to harness the power of our identity as faculty of MIT.”   

    [RELATED: UMich history profs warn of Trump’s ‘authoritarian politics’]

    “For many MIT faculty, staff, and students, the election and inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States is cause for alarm,” the statement begins. “Many of us are afraid that normalizing the actions of this administration will erode concern for the suffering of others and undermine aspirational American commitments to human rights and dignity for all people.”

    One of the main concerns outlined in the statement is the Trump administration’s alleged use of “alternative facts” to “gaslight” the American people, which the faculty members believe is a major threat to democracy.

    As such, they reason that “collective acts of resistance are necessary,” although they decline to state specific actions they intend to take and instead vaguely explain that they “need to harness the power of our identity as faculty of MIT.”

    [RELATED: Yale prof: Trump’s ‘lies’ a bigger threat than ‘fake news’]

    “Many of us believe that Trump is moving toward authoritarianism, and we believe that this represents an attack on democracy,” they write. “Those of us who have studied the history of fascism, believe Trump’s administration represents a significant step in this direction.”

    While they admit that characterizing Trump as a fascist “does not sit well with many of our colleagues,” they feel it is better to “err on the side of overstatement” lest they make the same mistakes of people in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

    “Let us call ourselves Faculty for Democracy and at the same time put forth before the MIT faculty a resolution recognizing the danger of the rise of an authoritarian regime in America and declaring our dedication to collectively fight, as faculty of MIT, and with faculty of other institutions of higher education, to ensure that the root of fascism does not take hold in this country,” the statement concludes.

    Campus Reform reached out to the six contacts listed for “Do We Act Now?” but did not receive a response from any of them by press time.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey





    Amber Athey

    Amber Athey

    Investigative Reporter

    Amber Athey is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government and Economics, and is currently a member of the 2016-2017 Koch Associate Program. 

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