I have been away for a week. Went on a little baseball road trip with the family.
So a lot has happened in the last week. The UFT not only supported Rev. Al's march in Staten Island, but was paying for buses to transport marchers to Staten Island.
Oh, and the UFT soon hid it's support on Facebook by deleting the posts in support of the march after several hundred pissed off comments.
Firstly, what happened in Staten Island was wrong. Do I think that people of color are treated differently by than others my some NYPD officers? Yes. Does this effect the way the community interacts with NYPD? Yes. Should the UFT have supported this march? No way.
The UFT showed it's hypocrisy in supporting the march for the act of one police officer. We as teachers are broad brushed day in and day out by the acts of a very few. We are railed against, beaten down and left on an island without any support. By making this march about the UFT's involvement we have put the 99% of officers of the NYPD who do the right thing in the shoes we don't like being forced to wear by outsiders.
At a time when we as teachers and a union need all the support and backing we can get to show a lack of support to our union brethren is not right. Yes, it's been said that the NYCPBA has done squat for us, well someone has to step up and do squat first, why not the UFT?
And, how can we support anything the Rev. Al is leading? Let's not forget his Wall Street Journal article he co-wrote with Joel Klein. Or his traveling roadshow with Newt Gingrich and Arne Duncan. Or what he truly feels about charters. And lest we forget some of the silly things Rev. Al has said in the past. Or the tax evasion, being an FBI informant, or Steven Pagones.
The UFT could have showed it's support for the community in other ways than endorsing this march.
We as teachers could have been asked or encouraged to go out into that Staten Island community and found common cause with the citizens. We as teachers have been subject to heavy handed tactics by Tweed and worse, SCI. We, both teachers and the Staten Island community have been affected by the last 20 years in this city of a top down, heavy handed, oligarchy, near police state by our elected officials and those at 1 Police Plaza.
Why has education been so able to go down the proverbial toilet? Because the citizenry is isolated from being heard (Hence, network offices 2 hours away by subway) which has enabled education to be controlled by a few of those 1 percenters who do not care one iota about those of color. The UFT missed it's chance. This is what the UFT should be marching about.
I don't begrudge Rev. Al having this march. It is his right and plenty do believe in him. I don't.
Nor do I condone those that live in their mommy's basements, drink Pabst, read about Che Guevara and Eugene Debs or bathe in months ending in Y. These people are immature and ignorant.
What bothers me and The Crack Team is Randi marching right next to Rev. Al and wearing a AFT shirt and Mulgrews involvement and thinking he knows what is best for the rank and file.
If Randi and Mikey want to march with Rev. Al, fine. Don't do it on my dime, The Crack Team's dime, or any other members dime.
It's time they start listening to the membership.