The president of one of the nation’s largest teachers’ union cited the Holocaust in comments she made about President-elect Donald Trump while speaking at an LGBT event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
“After what happened in the 1930s and ’40s, we used to have a saying called ‘never again,’” Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, said in front of an audience, adding:
Never again have some kind of Holocaust, never again. Frankly … that has to mean not never again not just for Jews, but never again for Muslims, never again for our Latino friends and neighbors, never again for our other vulnerable populations, including what are still an LGBTQ population. So when we think about what we’re walking into … Donald Trump is masterful at disruption and division. Disruption and division create discrimination and when we don’t stay together as a collective, as a coalition, then we are open to that kind of discrimination.
Weingarten was elected president of the American Federation of Teachers in 2008.
The union represents 1.6 million members and advocates on behalf of teachers and other education professionals throughout the country.
Not every teacher is required to be a member of the union. However, in nearly two dozen states, unions can require workers to pay a majority of the union dues.
Weingarten endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers in July, and since then has been an outspoken supporter.
Looking back at the 2016 election results, Weingarten, who was speaking at The Atlantic’s “Unfinished Business” LGBT summit, said, “I think that the election results said several things to me.”
“It said that we have an obligation, a moral obligation, a righteous obligation, to actually fight for four things.”
Those four things include:
- “We need to fight to ensure that there is the kind of economic opportunity for all regardless of wealth.”
- “The fight for economic opportunity is not exclusive from the fight against bigotry and discrimination. And we have to have both those fights with equal vigor.”
- “We’ve learned a lot about the importance of education in this last election and the fact that we need to have a generation that really understands and can critically think for itself.”
- “Pluralism and how important pluralism is—diversity, inclusion, pluralism.”