Mike Mulgrew's UFT is promoting Al Sharpton's August 23rd march for "justice for victims of police brutality." I don't know of too many, off hand, who support police brutality. I'm guessing very few police officers support police brutality. I hope the march will be one of solidarity, rather than violence--which brings me to my next point.
I oppose police brutality, but I also oppose UFT-president brutality, including the threat of it. I realize the issue does not parallel the other, as there have been no deaths and I don't forsee any. But, I'd like to take a minute of your time, nonetheless, to discuss it.
It was only last month, Mulgrew, all fired up at the AFT Convention in L.A., emphatically told the audience that he would punch in the face and push in the dirt anyone who tries to take his standards away. In other words, hands off his Core.
I can't oppose a rally against police brutality as long as it remains peaceful, but I can oppose the failure of the UFT to mobilize its rank and file on so many other educational issues. I can oppose the UFT's disregard for its rank and file, to the extent of increasing the weight of the vote of retirees to ensure its iron grip on power. I can oppose loyalty oaths that close the door to union offices to any person of high integrity who refuses to rubber stamp leadership. And, I can oppose the intimidation of Unity members by threats to cut the purse strings to double pensions--which turns them into eight-hundred tools deaf and sometimes dangerous to their own constituency as well as that of NYSUT and the AFT (in which the UFT holds a controlling interest).
When Mulgrew finished his punch-and-push-in-the-dirt speech, the camera focused on the beaming face of Randi Weingarten, obviously pleased with Mulgrew as she commended the passion in the room. For some reason at that moment, I could only think of Dr. Frankenstein. Weingarten knows as much as anyone, if not more, what a sham the UFT makes of union democracy and she, as much as anyone, is responsible. I'm sure if she thought more people knew, she would have to be at the very least embarrassed. I hope someday, everyone knows how the UFT operates. Not because I'm cruel, but because it's the truth and I love democracy.
So, if you'll be marching across the bridge opposing police brutality with the UFT and many others, say a silent prayer on the lesser issue of threats of UFT brutality, intimidation and tyranny.
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