Center for Immigrant Families Letter to Weingarten

CIF Challenges UFT President


Letter Center for Immigrant Families sent to UFT President Randi Weingarten
Dear Randi,

We are deeply disappointed and upset by your statements in opposition to Debbie Almontaser. We believe your statements have played a role in furthering the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism that pervades and infects our City.

“You represent the teachers of this city and need to be held accountable…we urge you to make a public apology.”

Aside from everything else that points to the racist nature of this whole incident, do you not know that in most parts of the world, the word intifada connotes resistance to an unethical and illegal and brutal occupation? It is not the word intifada that promotes violence or that should be denounced; rather, what should be denounced is an occupation that promotes violence and that made the intifada necessary.And do you also not know that if principals were forced to resign for making a statement that someone thought was insensitive or inappropriate or stupid (which this was not), we’d likely have almost no principals left in NYC?

“It is our view that we should be doing everything possible to support, not destroy efforts to strengthen schools that promote a concern for the world around us …”

Finally, as you know, New York City has one of the most inequitable and discriminatory school systems in the country–one that has grossly under-served low income and families of color. It is our view that we should be doing everything possible to support, not destroy efforts to strengthen schools that promote critical thinking and a concern for the world around us and that reflect, respect, and serve our many different communities.You are certainly entitled to your personal views on this matter, but you represent the teachers of this city and need to be held accountable for your public statements and positions. For the sake of the children of our city and for a commitment to fighting racism and injustice, we urge you to make a public apology for your comments that helped lead to the resignation of Debbie Almontaser.

Sincerely,

Center for Immigrant Families
New York City

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