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Ron Radosh

In New York City, the U.F.T. Betrays Al Shanker’s Legacy

June 24th, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Most importantly, Jeffries has been a strong supporter of charter schools, and opposed a lawsuit against them brought by the NAACP and the United Federation of Teachers. Barron, in contrast, has emerged as the strongest opponent of such schools.

As BuzzFeed reported, “Powerful public workers’ unions are throwing their weight — in public and behind the scenes — behind a Brooklyn Congressional candidate who has allied himself with despots like Muammar Qaddafi and Robert Mugabe.” It went on to report that “AFSCME, is planning to dive into the race on Barron’s behalf.” A smaller group, the Civil Service Employees, successfully blocked attempts to get union support for Barron’s rival, Hakeem Jeffries. Also joining the movement for Barron is the old left-wing stalwart in New York’s union movement, Local 1199, now part of the SIEU, and the once powerful Transit Workers Union, led by  “Red” Mike Quill in the 30s and 40s.

With low turnout in primary elections and powerful union support to mobilize its cadre, it seems at present that the black racist Barron will win the contest and be on his way to a seat in Congress.

So, what, one wonders, will be the position of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the powerhouse in the union movement and the Democratic Party? The answer soon came. The UFT announced that in the Barron-Jeffries race, they will remain neutral! While the fanatical black nationalist supporters in the union ranks of Barron are furious, the decision of the UFT delegate assembly and its leadership to remain silent and not take a stand  is in essence a message to its membership that as far as they are concerned, a Barron victory is acceptable.

If the founder of the UFT, the late Albert Shanker, still lived he would be in the forefront of an effort to mobilize his membership to stand up against Barron. One must remember that Shanker attained his national notoriety and fame as the leader of the UFT’s strike in Ocean-Hill Brownsville in 1968. He went to jail in 1969 for two weeks after refusing to call off the strike. The experiment in so-called “community control,” financed by the Ford Foundation, led local black nationalist leaders to fire largely Jewish teachers from the schools at which they worked. Black activists condemned Shanker as a racist, and regularly used anti-Semitic taunts against Shanker and striking teachers, most of whom were Jewish.

When one side is evil and the other sane, neutrality serves only to support those who favor evil. Al Shanker would have understood that, and taken a firm stand in support of Hakeem Jeffries,  despite his support of vouchers. How far the UFT has fallen since the days of Al Shanker’s leadership!

Unless a miracle takes place, New Yorkers in the next Congress will be disgraced when Charles Barron represents one of their Congressional districts.

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