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Urging the President-Elect to "Stop the Hate"
Speaking Friday in Washington, DC at a news conference to announce the effort were AFT President Randi Weingarten (above, center) and the SPLC’s Maureen Costello (second from left), who leads the center's Teaching Tolerance project. Joining them were Moral Monday architect William J. Barber, II (second from right), Nancy Zirkin (right) of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and American Association of University Professors (AAUP) First Vice President Henry Reichman. Union members Austin McCoy (third from left), a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan and Scott Kasten (left), a Minneapolis teacher, also attended and added their voices.
"This is not a political matter; this is a matter of moral responsibility," said Weingarten. "Acceptance, inclusion and the right to live without fear of bullying, intimidation or assault should be a common bond for all of us. America in 2016 can't allow the normalization of hate. That is why we stand with so many others, calling on the president-elect to act and to demonstrate leadership and moral responsibility by vigorously and unequivocally denouncing these acts of hate," she added.
Click here for Weingarten's latest commentary in which she urged a rejection of both hate and economic inequality.
Weingarten also announced our union's plan to set up a support and resource hotline for people to report incidents and be directed to experts for guidance and counseling. She also shared how educators can find online lessons and other materials on topics including bullying, grief, and the election and its meaning, for free at Share My Lesson.
Click here for Share My Lesson's 2016 election-related lessons.
The Rev. Barber, who also serves as president of both the Repairers of the Breach and North Carolina's NAACP chapter, said Trump "must repent and take responsibility."
"Mr. Trump's campaign has been one of unbounded vulgarity against people of color, immigrants, women and people of different faiths," he said. "He must challenge those who have been emboldened by his words, and he must also change the direction of his policies that undermine the cause of justice and civil rights. Anything less than this will continue the deep distrust and apprehension we have regarding his presidency," Barber added.
Rev. Barber in September came to Connecticut to speak at a pre-election rally organized by the Democracy, Unity and Equality (D.U.E.) Justice Coalition. There he urged attendees organize a "movement with some heart to work on the heart of America."
Click here for a report-back on the event from our allies in the United Church of Christ (UCC) Connecticut Conference.
"There's no denying it—the election has had a profound and lasting impact on our nation's schoolchildren for the worse," said the SPLC's Maureen Costello. "Now is the time for educators and anyone who cares about kids to repair the damage and ensure that all children feel welcome in their schools and communities," she added.
Click here to learn more about the center's Teaching Tolerance program.
The letter was delivered to the president-elect and reads, "while you spoke against bullying, intimidation and hate crimes in your '60 Minutes' interview, the appointment of 'alt-right' hero Steve Bannon as your chief strategist, which has been cheered by the Ku Klux Klan, the American Renaissance and other white supremacist groups, sends the exact opposite message." The letter concludes, "we ask you to use you position, your considerable platform and even your Tweets to send a clear message that hate has no place in our public discourse, in our public policy or in our society."
Click here for the full letter.
To amplify the letter's demands, our national union has launched an online petition for members, their friends, family and neighbors to add their names to. It's an opportunity to send a clear message that hate has no place in our public discourse, in our public policy or in our society — starting with our next president.
Click here to sign and share the petition today.