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Noam Chomsky, Junot Diaz and nearly 400 MIT faculty oppose Trump picks in open letter

President-elect Donald Trump. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
President-elect Donald Trump. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Nearly 400 MIT faculty members, including professor emeritus Noam Chomsky, writer Junot Diaz and four Nobel Prize winners, signed an open letter criticizing President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.

“The President-elect has appointed individuals to positions of power who have endorsed racism, misogyny and religious bigotry, and denied the widespread scientific consensus on climate change. Regardless of our political views, these endorsements violate principles at the core of MIT’s mission. At this time, it is important to reaffirm the values we hold in common.”

The letter also denounces the controversial rhetoric often associated with Trump’s campaign and impending presidency.

“For any member of our community who may feel fear or oppression, our doors are open and we are ready to help,” it states.  MIT boasts a student body represented by 120 foreign countries, all 50 U.S. states and three U.S. territories.

While campaigning, Trump lauded his late uncle, John, who was a professor at MIT for nearly 50 years. Shortly after Trump announced his candidacy, he spoke about him to CNN.

“I had an uncle who went to MIT who is a top professor. Dr. John Trump. A genius. It’s in my blood. I’m smart. Great marks. Like really smart," Trump said.

A handful of faculty members who signed the statement overlapped in time with John Trump. At least one, physics professor Robert Jaffe, said that he did not know the uncle, but hopes that his nephew’s administration will maintain a dedication to science.

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