Letter from U of T faculty regarding transphobic and anti-Black hate speech and threats

We, the undersigned faculty and members of the University of Toronto, condemn recent on-campus and online incidents of transphobic and anti-black hate speech and threats at the university.  Hate speech should not be tolerated under the banner of free speech. Racist and transphobic harassment and hate speech are against U of T’s Statement on Human Rights (2012), the policy on Freedom of Speech and its Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Excellence.

We welcome the statement issued by the university administration, condemning the social media attacks on LGBTQI identified students. We call on the university administration to detail what it will do to prevent the continuation of such incidents, thus making it clear that there is no room for anti-black and anti-transgender hate speech at the University of Toronto.We also ask what it means to create an environment in which we are not simply reacting to hate speech and threats against members of our community, and thus ensuring that we are not tacitly legitimating an atmosphere of harassment and hostility towards transgender, gender non-binary, and black students, staff and faculty.

As faculty and members of the University of Toronto, we also commit to challenging racism and transphobia, and to building classrooms, departments, debates, and events in which transgender, gender-nonbinary, queer, black and racialized students and faculty can work and study with support and without harassment.  We stand in solidarity with colleagues and students who are standing up to these unacceptable hostile conditions for their work and study.

If you would like to sign this letter, please click on this link:

We will be collecting signatures until 5 p.m. on Wednesday October 18th. The letter will be sent to the administration and the Varsity.



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