Saturday, February 3, 2018

UFT's Leroy Barr Equates Black Lives Matter and Opposition to Vietnam War

The very first organized demo/rally I took part in was on May 1, 1971 - yes, May Day, to protest the UFT position on the Vietnam War with a group of activist teachers in my District (14 - Williamsburg) -- Yes, I pretty much missed the 60s but had joined a group of teachers in a group that met regularly and out out a newspaper. We had taken the day off and put out a press release and got some coverage and even attracted some teachers we did not know - and later began to work with them.

So when Leroy Barr connected the UFT stance on the Vietnam War to the Black Lives Matters issue I said WTF. (You can see me on NY1 commenting in an interview with Lindsey Christ -
http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/education/2018/01/26/black-lives-matter-debate-splits-teachers--union)

There has been some blow back directed at the UFT leadership and Leroy Barr for their opposition to the MORE resolution on Black Lives Matter at the January Delegate Assembly when he termed the movement as divisive. I watched Leroy's speech from the 19th floor and sort of felt for him - a black man, the son of a cop and a teacher, who made a fantastic speech at the 2016 AFT convention - trying to navigate some difficult terrain. This time not such a great speech, especially when he raised the UFT non-position on the Vietnam War because it was so divisive as a comparison to wise UFT policy.

Having recently seen the Ken Burns series which did show how divisive the war was but also showed what a disaster it was an how the government lied again and again. Since I began teaching in 1967 pretty much as an unwoke person who bought much of the bullshit I was subjected to, I can get the point  - to some extent. But when I became woke over the next 3 years I began to understand that the neutrality of the UFT over the divisiveness issue was a red herring to cover UFT leader Al Shanker's outright support for the war and his leading us to back all US warhawk actions. If shanker could have gotten away with it in a very liberal union he would have had us support the war.

I remember challenging Shanker directly at a DA 5 years later over his support for neo-con Henry Jackson for the 1976 presidency, pointing out that a year after the massive budget cuts - undoubtedly connected to the toll of the war - and that we couldn't have guns and butter and Shanker's leading our union to not oppose the massive military expenditures was choosing guns over butter and harming our schools, our union and our working conditions. (Note- we were working under a reduced school schedule, the loss of 2 out of 5 preps a week and 15,000 cuts.)

I recalled those days as Leroy spoke and thought that one of the jobs of a union is to help educate its members, which happened to me due to the people on the left who educated me. We shouldn't wake up in spite of the union.

The same applies to the Black Lives Matter movement, which I will address in Part 2.

24 comments:

  1. A resolution to endorse BLM at the DA. A joke right?

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  2. And I bet you think black history month and milk birthday should be abolished.

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  3. Leroy got it right. BLM is divisive. That's why it exists.

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  4. Maybe you line up with those who think black lives don't matter.

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  5. MLK was a moral leader who pursued truth and justice. He was a man of faith that promoted strong family structure and personal responsibility. He hated the nihilistic politics of victimhood.

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  6. I see things simply. Black men and boys get shot by cops and others in high proportions. Blm comes from that. If you don't see that is happening then you are blind.

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    1. Men and boys are shot at a higher rate than women and girls. Does that mean it is a sexist system for those who see things simply??

      Worse, men are incarcerated at a FAR higher rate than women. More sexism for those who see things simply?

      Any chance men engage in more criminal activity than women? And therefore appear to be 'disproportionally targeted" by the feeble-minded and their self-hating sympathizers.

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    2. If only they cared about black life enough to criticize black people who kill each other and act the fool. Instead they think white people will save the black community. They should study the black panther party and organize the hood

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  7. BLM block rail passengers going to superbowl. Live story.

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  8. Eleven cops a month kill themselves due mostly to PTSD. Any sympathy for them?

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    1. Of course. But I hope you aren't using this false equivalency to justify what too many bad cops end up doing.

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  9. Anyone can use Blm to cover for theit idiocy. Therr are official Blm groups. A white guys shoots uo a black church so let's condemn all white people?

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  10. As usual false equivalency. Innocent black people are stopped. If a white guy wlaked down a street carrying a machine gun and a black guy wearing a tux the black guy gets stopped. That is truth and profiling. As many white people smoke grass as black people but blacks are criminalized by an enormously greater percentage.

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  11. Everything has changed in America. Labels are meaningless. Hidden truths are being revealed, and the powerful
    and malevolent forces that control the country are being exposed.The faux left now supports spies and economic imperialists.
    Their language is authoritarian. They abandon the class approach that finds common cause with all groups against the elite, and engage in identity politics to sustain tension between disparate groups. They have no interest in solutions. They are only interested in conflict. Institutional racism is over. What is in peoples hearts cannot be legislated for. The faux left are the biggest haters of all.

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  12. Blah, blah, blah, the same clapped out jargon of the delapidated Trotskyites that Shanker kept in line.

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  13. When confronted with your own racism resort to red baiting.

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  14. Blacks are unemployed at 4 times the rate of whites , yet the faux left relentlessly advocate
    for open borders.Tens of millions of unskilled immigrants virtually condemn many African
    Americans to joblessness.

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  15. Well...communists are vermin

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  16. I wonder why you read blogs by people you consider vermin. it can be contagious.
    As for racists -- well vermin look like angels compared to them.

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  17. Shanker saved the union from this kind of thought process

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  18. Funny that a county in maryland can get fully behind BLM and we can't

    http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/prince-georges-co-school-board-votes-in-favor-of-black-lives-matter-week-of-action-in-schools

    And parental leave is not divisive for our union...

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  19. The UFT/AFT continues to be on the wrong side of history. On the wrong side of the Vietnam War, the wrong side of the 1968 strike, the wrong side of the Bloomberg's grab at a third term, backing the wrong Democratic primary candidate, and now the BLM. No wonder some parents don't trust public schools. At the risk of alienating some members, they are alienating other members and many families.

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  20. But at least we are all more than the union. The union leadership is not able to support these causes. I am not prevented as an individual.

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