We definitively denounce Ron Weiser for his violent and misogynistic remarks

His horrible and horrifying language reproduces broader societal and historical patterns of speech that perpetuate and incite violence and hate against women, especially women of color.

We at TeachingWorks condemn Ronald Weiser for the violent and misogynistic language he used last week in describing the political strategy he advocated for the Michigan Republican Party. The words he spoke were horrible and horrifying. They also reproduce broader societal and historical patterns of speech that perpetuate and incite violence and hate against women. These patterns are especially pervasive and dangerous for women of color. Over the last two years these patterns have been evident in the threatening hate speech targeting members of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. These patterns have been evident in the lack of widespread acknowledgment of the murders of Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino/a/e, and transgender women, and in the failure to indict and punish their killers.

We feel the need to speak out to register our abhorrence for Mr. Weiser’s hate language because of its dangerous and damaging content. But we also feel compelled to speak out because Mr. Weiser was an early benefactor in 2014 to TeachingWorks for an important cross-institutional project to bring together teacher educators across the state of Michigan to collaborate to strengthen approaches to preparing teachers for practice. The terms of the funding made clear that we were free to determine how to use this funding to advance our mission in our work in Michigan, which we did. However, this evidence of Regent Weiser’s disregard for basic democratic values and the flagrant harm that his language promotes for women of all identities makes us regret this connection to him.

Our work at TeachingWorks rests on the power that schooling has on the development of our nation’s people and represents a steadfast conviction that teaching and teacher education can be powerful forces for disrupting hate and injustice for our collective future. As we express our alarm at Regent Weiser’s remarks last week, we at TeachingWorks stand up and resolve to continue to work with others to reject hate and oppression, and to develop the power of teaching to build a just and respectful society.