The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) honored Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a guest speaker at its celebration of the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in January. Rev. Wright is famous for replacing the word “bless” in “God Bless America” with the word “damn” in a sermon at the Chicago church that President Barack Obama attended for 20 years. At the recent CTU union gathering Rev. Wright claimed that Western society is based on “racism, militarism, and capitalism” and called capitalism part of a “three-headed demon” that should be rejected. He also attacked President Abraham Lincoln as a racist.
Karen Lewis, the union president who led the disruptive Chicago teachers’ union strike in the fall of 2012, defended Wright’s attacks on America and on Lincoln, who fought the Civil War and helped to end slavery. Lewis said, “The issue is, how do we put those things in context so we can get to the point where we can have a world that’s healed and perfected, where we don’t have war?” Her convoluted statement confused many.
In a show of support for gay marriage, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation union “unanimously passed a resolution to support New Mexico Unites for Marriage,” according to the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that promotes the normalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individual choices. New Mexico Unites for Marriage is organizing groups and individuals to fight against a constitutional amendment proposed by the state legislature that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The Albuquerque Teachers Federation represents 3,800 members and is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers union.
The Pennsylvania State Education Association union president Michael J. Crossey wrote in a December 2013 online newsletter to fellow union members:
Next year, we will face one of our biggest challenges as an Association. We’ve been preparing for this fight for the past three years. It’s time to go All In. It’s time to vote Gov. Tom Corbett out of office. (MediaTrackers.org, 1-6-14)
Crossey also asked union members to contribute money to a campaign to defeat Republican Gov. Corbett. In 2012 the Pennsylvania state affiliate of the National Education Association union spent $3.2 million in state elections to defeat those that they deemed enemies of the teachers union.
The union claims that Corbett cut $1 billion in education spending. But this is untrue because much of the funding that Pennsylvania is now doing without was actually federal stimulus money that was a one-shot deal from the Obama administration.
Mike Antonucci reports at the Education Intelligence Agency (1-21-14) that a National Education Association union internal survey discovered that only 30% of union members had any contact with a Representational Assembly delegate in the previous year. The delegates are elected local union members that attend the annual convention or Representational Assembly to vote on policy. The rank-and-file members’ lack of contact with their representatives shows they are unlikely to influence those who vote on union policy. Antonucci writes, “Ordinary teachers and rank-and-file members should not be criticized for the actions of their union, nor should they be expected to defend those actions. Chances are they haven’t a clue what the union above the local level is up to.”
But some would urge that union members should act more responsibly and know what local and national union activities their hard-earned cash supports. Only if teachers become aware of the radical beliefs of their leadership is there any chance of getting their union on track to support teachers and students, rather than attempting to influence political and social policy. Political lobbying and campaign spending, support for gay marriage and alternative lifestyles, and radical anti-Americans as guest speakers at union events show what teachers unions are all about. Quality education for students is not the priority.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.
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