We live in free societies. We cherish the right to free speech and assembly. That sometimes means that people are permitted to expound odious views and to gather for purposes of promoting those views. In Charlottesville, Virginia this tragically led to violence, serious injuries and death.
But to respect free speech does not mean that all views are valid or worthy of consideration. Bigotry, racism and group hatred are views that, especially in a free society, people of good will need to condemn unequivocally. In America our founding text begins with the premise that all of us are created equal. Today that is not a uniquely American ideal, but one shared by our U.K. and French colleagues, as well as many others around the world.
The road to realizing this ideal - in practice - has proven to be a long and arduous one, with many missteps and stumbles along the way. Over many lifetimes it is a road that many in America, the U.K., France and elsewhere have fought and died to protect, keep open and extend for themselves and their descendants.
It is our solemn duty to continue that work, and to speak out whenever the journey is threatened - whether by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of the KKK in Charlottesville or other voices elsewhere espousing bigotry, racism and group hatred.
Let us all at Brown Rudnick every day in words and deeds renew our commitment to make sure all of our BR colleagues - whatever their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or geographic background, political, cultural or other differences - are included as full participants in our community, and have an equal opportunity to realize their individual potential. Let us also extend a similar commitment to our fellow human beings in the larger communities in which we live. In so doing, we will do our small part to face down bigotry, racism and group hatred, and advance our collective journey toward equal treatment for all.