WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and United University Professions President Frederick Kowal in response to the torch-light march by white supremacists on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The AFT is the largest union of higher education faculty, professional staff and graduate employees in the United States:
“The atrocious display of racist hate in this march is antithetical to our values as Americans. It is no surprise that white supremacists take their filth to college campuses; they understand at a visceral level what all teachers know—that education is their enemy. We are alarmed that, as the Southern Poverty Law Center and others, including us, have repeatedly said, hate feels empowered in the United States right now. We applaud the elected officials, including Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, who have stood up to that hate and clearly expressed their contempt for these actions and the ideology that underlies them.
“We stand with these elected officials, with the people of Charlottesville and with the University of Virginia community in condemning the hatred and bigotry being espoused by the white supremacists who have marched into their town.”
# # # #
The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.