August 17, 2017
Over the past few days, I have watched and read the news accounts of the horrific incidents that occurred in Charlottesville with a deep sense of sadness and concern. Such racism, bigotry and violence are an affront to the fundamental principles of equality and justice that we hold so dear. As a firm and as a citizen of the world, we unequivocally stand against the intolerance, racism, bigotry and violence that was so vividly on display last weekend in Charlottesville. We grieve for the innocent victims of this bigotry and violence, but we cannot allow extremists to affect our way of life, the way that we deal with each other, or our strong belief in the rule of law. There is no moral equivalence between those who espouse hatred, bigotry and racism – through violence or otherwise – and those who stand up for equality and what is fundamentally right and decent.
At Gibson Dunn, we must continue to live out our diversity mission, which is to foster a culturally fluid, inclusive and open environment that welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and with different perspectives. There is no question that our diversity, which spans race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical abilities, religious beliefs and political views, is embedded into our cherished culture and is a source of great strength.
At Gibson Dunn, we will maintain our commitment to defend the rule of law, civil rights and fundamental human rights as those are the core principles that define who we are. We will work with our clients to advocate for an inclusive society that recognizes each person’s individual dignity. As lawyers, we have a special ability, and indeed duty, to influence and impact society, in the courts and through pro bono work and leadership in institutions that promote and uphold the rule of law, individual rights and human dignity. We will continue to lead by example and to use our considerable resources to reject intolerance, bigotry and hatred, and defend the fair and equal treatment of all of our citizens.
For those of you who are struggling to make sense of recent events, please remember, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so aptly stated, “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Thurgood Marshall also spoke eloquently regarding the challenges that we continue to face with his powerful words: “I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust… We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
At Gibson Dunn, I am proud to say that we remain true to our core values and will always be on the side of tolerance, inclusiveness and the rule of law.