At a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 15, President Trump put equal blame for the weekend riots in Charlottesville on those protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, with those demonstrating against them.
Regardless of what Mr. Trump said, the issue is not about the First Amendment and free speech, the right of people to gather in protest, nor the removal of a statue. The issue is about calling out and denouncing the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK who espouse bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism.
This is a wake-up call to our society as to what is happening to civil discourse in our country. The fact that moral leadership is lacking from the top only highlights the importance of ensuring that our students recognize, understand and not remain silent when they witness such occurrences.
Each educator has the obligation to ensure that tolerance and mutual respect are taught at all levels, starting with their own classrooms.
Eileen W. Fisher