WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten responds to President Trump’s racist comments:
“Blowing up a bipartisan deal to protect kids and young people from deportation is bad enough, but spewing hateful attacks against people from countries that are majority nonwhite has once again exposed the racist and nativist ideology that forms the core of this administration.
“It doesn’t matter if Trump now denies the actual vulgarity, although not the intent of his words; damage to the reputation of the United States and our standing in the world has already been done. Worse, as with his comments after Charlottesville, is that the president’s words enable an environment of hate and bigotry.
“This morning in classrooms across our country, America’s teachers are dealing with the fallout. Think about it—if you were a child of Haitian or African descent, what would you be feeling this morning? What happens in classrooms if children simply mimic or repeat the president’s vulgar and vile comments or share their racist overtones? How do we teach children that their president is betraying the values embedded in the Constitution on the eve of the MLK weekend in which we honor and promote justice, freedom and opportunity?
“The countries and the people the president targeted need to know that the American people do not stand for Trump’s hateful and racist words. We are better than that. Fair-minded Americans, regardless of ideology, need to denounce these words and intentions. For these reasons, President Trump must apologize.”