Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in response to the politically motivated violence in America:
The hateful, murderous rhetoric spewed by politicians at all levels is poisoning and destroying the moral fabric of our beloved country. For too many years, anti-Semitism and other forms of hate simmered below the surface and on the dark corners of the internet. But for personal gain, some politicians have chosen to create a political climate where the abhorrent has become almost mainstream.
Make no mistake, this appeal to our worst instincts has given way to horrific violence across the country. In the span of four days, two African Americans were publicly gunned down at a grocery store solely based on the color of their skin, bombs were delivered to prominent politicians and journalists, and 11 Jewish people were massacred while praying.
We cannot allow ourselves to become numb or turn a blind eye. It is up to us to stand up and make clear what we will not accept. Change starts with us, working people. It is up to us to hold every politician and person in power accountable—not only for their actions, but for their words and for their silence.
As the labor movement, we understand better than anyone the urgency of this moment. When rhetoric spills over into violence, it’s our brothers and sisters’ blood shed and lives lost. We are part of every community around the country. And long after the last news crew is gone, we are there with our unions—helping to heal the wounds and pick up the pieces. Now, as we have throughout our country’s long history, working people will come together through our unions in solidarity to confront and overcome evil.
Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018