Thursday, December 29, 2016

Zero Tolerance for Paladino, But Let's Pretend Trump Doesn't Exist

Today I received an email from NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta. It demanded the removal of the vile racist Carl Paladino from the Buffalo School Board. I am personally not a fan of vile racism, and I'd be happy to see Carl gone yesterday. This notwithstanding, it's no surprise that Paladino spews toxic bigotry, and the fact is we've known about it for years.

There's a petition to remove Paladino, and the email asks you to sign it. I'd already done so, and if you haven't, you may do so right here. We are public servants, and as such it behooves us to have zero tolerance for racism and bigotry of any kind. How can we serve New York's children unless we fight those who'd discriminate against them based on their skin color, nationality, sex, or religion?

We are advocates for children, and as such we fight the good fight.

Unless, of course, we're UFT leadership. Then it's a different story. UFT leadership is determined not to even mention the name of racist President-elect Donald J. Trump. Instead, we are to attribute his hatred and bias to the Presidential Election.

I could draw a lot of conclusions about people who are afraid to say what we all know. In their defense, they'd say they are concerned about alienating the Trump voters. Evidently they are less concerned about alienating those of us who find racism, sexism and bigotry unconscionable. They are less concerned about alienating UFT high school teachers, who chose candidates who believe in speaking forthrightly and naming names. They are less concerned about alienating 11,000 UFT voters who oppose the counterproductive "seat at the table" politics that brought us President Donald J. Trump.

Before one of the first Executive Board meetings I attended, I was approached by a teacher who asked about leaving the union. I told him there was some paperwork involved, but he could easily do it. He then told me he didn't want to pay dues. I told him to vote for Donald Trump and he said he would. That's who UFT leadership is concerned about appeasing.

You and me, not so much.

Meanwhile, as we contemplate the coming new year, here's a poem:

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