AFT Resolution

REJECTING HATE SPEECH

WHEREAS, the 2016 presidential election was characterized by extremely divisive, harmful and destructive rhetoric that targeted disadvantaged and underprivileged groups as a way of angering people to mobilize a base; and

WHEREAS, political figures have continued to use this rhetoric as a way to mobilize support for a policy agenda that targets disadvantaged and underprivileged groups; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of such rhetoric is to induce fear in those targeted so as to exclude them from community spaces; and

WHEREAS, since the 2016 election began, hate crimes toward disadvantaged and underprivileged groups have increased and can be traced to the rhetoric used in the election; and

WHEREAS, members of these targeted groups include students in our classrooms, our co-workers, and our campuses; and

WHEREAS, our role as teachers, members of a union, and community members is to create a space in classrooms and our campuses whereby all people can participate, as well as rejecting oppression; and

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association defines hate speech as "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits"; and

WHEREAS, such rhetoric is therefore defined as hate speech; and

WHEREAS, political figures have hidden behind First Amendment rights to advance this agenda, claiming that they have the freedom of speech to terrorize different disadvantaged and underprivileged groups; and

WHEREAS, this rhetoric often results in the violation of the 14th Amendment rights of these groups and thus can be considered hate speech:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers unequivocally rejects hate speech and acknowledges it is a direct attack upon our students, co-workers, community, schools and campuses; and

RESOLVED, that AFT locals should push their schools, local school districts and campuses to reject hate speech; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will call upon all politicians to reject hate speech and hate crimes.

(2018)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.