Education organisations firmly condemn President Trump’s “vile and unacceptable” comments

published 15 January 2018 updated 16 January 2018

Education International’s affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers and the Union of Education Norway, have strongly rejected US President Trump’s racist comments while speaking about Haiti, El Salvador and unspecified African countries.

In an Oval Office meeting with US senators on 11 January to discuss immigration, Donald Trump was reported describing Haiti, El Salvador and unspecified African countries as “shitholes”.

Teacher unions’ commitment to justice and human rights

“The vile and unacceptable comments made by President Trump must be condemned with the strongest possible force. Norwegian and American educators stand in solidarity with their sisters and brothers in Haiti, El Salvador and across Africa—and people of African descent in both of our countries—who will bear the brunt of bigotry,” underline American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten and Union of Education Norway (UEN) President Steffen Handal in their statement issued on 13 January.

Noting that Donald Trump’s “denials are not believable,” they go on to stress that “Norway and America have a shared commitment to justice and human rights—the precise opposite of the racism and hate peddled by the president”.

Trump’s comments go against common education union values

Immigrants and refugees from Africa have thrived in both of their countries because of their proud record of tolerance and multiculturalism, the education union leaders insist, warning that President Trump’s comments “tear at the heart of our common values as teachers unions”.

“We will not let his divisiveness prevail,” they swear.