Let's be an inclusive movement, avoid harmful and divisive language

KFTC's Executive Committee urges Kentuckians to create an inclusive movement by choosing not to play into harmful and divisive language.

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth works for an open, healthy democracy and a high quality of life for all people. We stand with teachers and public workers in the fight for a fair pension.

We understand the hurt and anger caused by Governor Bevin when he called Kentucky’s teachers and other public workers “selfish and short-sighted” and said they displayed a “thug mentality” when speaking out. He should apologize.

The word “thug” has a complicated history. It was used to disparage unions of working people throughout labor’s history. Over time, it’s meaning shifted and today, the word “thug” has racial undertones. It’s a word that causes hurt and pain for Black Kentuckians and other people of color.

That language seeks to divide us, and repeating it has unintended consequences. 

As we move forward in this fight, it’s important that we stand together. We encourage our members – and all Kentuckians – to not repeat the governor’s divisive language. We encourage teachers and other state workers to show up and stand in solidarity with actions and movements led by people of color. 

We are working to create a Kentucky that we haven’t seen yet, where politicians don’t have the power to divide us. By being part of a movement that is inclusive, that welcomes everyone, and that builds off of the strength that we have in working together, we can create such a Kentucky.

Solidarity is our best path forward. We look forward to building this movement, together.

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