A statement from CSIS President and CEO John Hamre

CSIS condemns racism.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence starts with these inspiring words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal.” The events of the past 10 days have vividly shown that America espouses equal opportunity for all, but in reality, opportunities for Americans are not equal. Racism remains strong in America. Poverty is growing. America now has millions of people who are hungry and food-insecure. The opportunity gap is widening between those who have a head start in life and those who carry the baggage of bigotry, the burdens of poverty, the despair that life will not improve for them and their families. Educational opportunities favor those with a head start and penalize those whose start in life is austere.

This is now affecting our national security. It is diminishing our impact and influence in the world. CSIS has and will continue to champion the ideals of our democracy. But we must start with an unblinking assessment of our failings. Our domestic crisis is a national security crisis. Any enduring solutions will require coming together to bridge the many divisions in our society today.

Our scholars have devoted their lives to finding bipartisan solutions to deep policy problems. We now have to adjust our focus to examine the flaws of our domestic construction that affect our national security and our voice in the world. This is a new day. We have great challenges before us. We commit ourselves to solving these problems for a better America and a better world.

John J. Hamre
President and CEO, Langone Chair in American Leadership
Center for Strategic and International Studies

© 2020 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. All rights reserved.
John J. Hamre
CSIS President and CEO, and Langone Chair in American Leadership