As part of an international community of medievalists who study (among many other things) how the city became itself, and the enduring power of the art that its varied communities have generated over the centuries, our thoughts and hearts are with London today. We know well what history teaches: love is greater than hate, global belonging is more affirmative than solitary nationalisms, and mutual care is one antidote to anger and violence. We recognize that what unfolded in London is in no way unique. Manchester, Portland, white supremacist dreams of Vinland, religious extremism across the spectrum, nooses at the National Museum of African American History and Culture: these are the toxic stories of our times, and they do not easily reduce to tales of insiders versus imagined monsters. Yet we stand in hope of a better future, an optimism given to us in part by London at its best and through the ages: multicultural, multilingual, multiracial, diverse in religion and belief, a world city that has consistently demonstrated the possibility of another way of being in the world.
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