LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Standing with my Muslim students

Barry Kaufkins

This is an open letter to all my Muslim students, past, present and future.

It is with a heavy heart that I write you this message. It’s difficult to even know where to begin. Since the election, as I’m sure you’re aware, we’ve seen a rise in hostile rhetoric and behavior against minorities in this country, particularly against those of the Muslim faith or of Middle Eastern descent. It saddens me beyond words to find this going on right here in Bowling Green, my hometown, and even here at WKU, a place where the values of inclusion, acceptance and diversity are espoused as a cornerstones of who we are as a campus community.

I don’t know how you feel about all of this, of course. Maybe you don’t feel concerned or threatened, and I hope that to be the case. In any case, this is what I’m writing to say: I’ve got your back.

There are more of us good guys out there than there are bad, it’s just that the bad ones are making a lot of noise right now and are getting a lot of attention. I just read in the news about a flyer circulating at Texas State University calling for the “arrest and torture” of university faculty who promote or teach diversity. An empty threat, I’m sure, but the sentiments, I have no doubt, are real, designed to frighten and intimidate.

To them I say only this: Bring. It. On. I will not be intimidated. And nor should you. I hope this message isn’t too weird or awkward. I just wanted to reach out and let you know you have a lot of support right now, even if maybe it doesn’t feel that way. Stay strong and be well.


Your friend, Barry Kaufkins