CAT Tracks for October 29, 2018

Yesterday, I received the following e-mail from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten...

From: Randi Weingarten
Date: 10/28/18 20:50:48
Subject: Our pain can't immobilize us

As I stood at a vigil at Temple Emanuel in New York City today to honor the Tree of Life synagogue victims, I couldn't stop thinking about how hate has become a fact of life in our country.

Hateful rhetoric and words of incitement have fueled heinous acts of violence across our nation over the past week: pipe bombs mailed to elected officials and the media, a racially motivated shooting at a Kroger grocery store after a failed church attack, and, yesterday, the most deadly anti-Semitic attack in our nation's history. Political violence that once seemed unimaginable now seems inevitable - the result of hate being normalized and divisions stoked by those in power. This is a moment of crisis for our communities that we have not experienced in decades.

We are in pain, but our pain can't immobilize us; we must act, and that starts with voting on Nov. 6.

On Tuesday night, one week before the midterm election, we're holding a telephone town hall, with partners including MoveOn, the NAACP and other progressive groups, about what's happened in the last week and what we're doing about it. Sign up here, and we'll make sure you're on the call.

The sad truth is that no matter how much we plead for Donald Trump to change, he won't. He can't. He's so caught up in his quest for praise and power that he seems incapable of reflection on, much yet empathy for, what's happened to America during his tenure and his role in enabling such division and polarization. Despite these three terrible acts in the last week, at the hands of assailants who self-identify as anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, racist white supremacists who have embraced Trump's words and deeds, the president is still using the same tactics and exacerbating the same shameful divisions.

And since we know he won't change, we must act.

We must act to disarm hate, not arm more people. We must act as educators and activists, and do everything possible to combat this surge of hatred and violence in America. We must act by voting, and by doing all we can to get out the vote through our calls; our texts; our emails; our conversations with family, friends and co-workers; and, yes, our knocks on doors. The most important thing we can do right now - to promote our values and make this the best it can be - is to vote. Nov. 6 is our opportunity to vote for sanity and change.

In the days since the pipe bombs, the president has already resumed criticizing those who were targeted. A man targeted two black people at a grocery store, killing them because of the color of their skin. And yesterday an anti-Semite with a gun murdered 11 people.

You have a way to combat the pain you feel over these events - by voting for candidates who will be a check on Trump; by voting for decency and fairness, and against cruelty and prejudice.

It's on us, collectively, to put a check on Trump and hate. We can do that by voting on Nov. 6.

Join the call on Tuesday, and we'll discuss how we make sure we serve as a check on this hate.

Randi Weingarten
AFT President

P.S.: Our Share My Lesson website has free resources for parents, educators and anyone looking for ways to productively combat anti-Semitism and hate.