Teachers Unions Play Balkanization

CTA and NEA embrace Progressivism, indulge in identity politics and celebrate everything but America. 

Each teacher shall endeavor to impress upon the minds of the pupils the principles of morality, truth, justice, patriotism, and a true comprehension of the rights, duties, and dignity of American citizenship, and the meaning of equality and human dignity, including the promotion of harmonious relations, kindness toward domestic pets and the humane treatment of living creatures, to teach them to avoid idleness, profanity, and falsehood, and to instruct them in manners and morals and the principles of a free government. 

No, the above is not from a McGuffey Reader, nor does it emanate from Glenn Beck’s conservative playbook. Stunningly, the emphasis on high morals, patriotism and duties of American citizenship is taken verbatim from the California Education Code. (H/T Keith Hardine.) 

It’s hardly a secret that Progressives are running much of the education franchise in California and elsewhere, and concepts like “principles of a free government” are more often than not ignored in our schools. The ed code be damned, our students are instead taught to frown upon capitalism, individualism and competition, and to rejoice in distributive egalitarianism, collectivism and statism. Unsurprisingly, the California Teachers Association is leading the anti-American charge. Eschewing a healthy pluralism for divisive multiculturalism and identity politics, its “Awareness Holidays” web page speaks volumes: 

February: Black History Month

March: Womens History Month

May: Asian Pacific Heritage Month

May: Labor History Month

Sept/Oct: Hispanic Heritage Month(s)

Sept. 21: International Day of Peace  

Here we see the holy trinity of Progressivism: race, gender and class, with a dab of internationalism thrown in. To its credit, CTA does give Independence Day a mention, but reprehensibly omits Veterans Day, Flag Day, Constitution Day, Presidents Day and the day that many patriotic Americans celebrated yesterday: Memorial Day. 

That the teachers unions are radical in nature and aggressively anti-American is not news. One only has to look at the National Education Association’s embrace of Marxist Saul Alinsky’s organizing tactics in the late 60s. A glowing review of Alinsky’s books on the NEA website can be seen here. (After I and several others started writing about this a few years ago, NEA took the post down, but courtesy of the “Wayback Machine,” it is recoverable.)

Mr. Alinsky hated all things American and wasn’t shy about spreading his bilious beliefs. He held a romanticized and glorified notion of “the radical” who he felt – by using his techniques – could fundamentally transform the country:

  • He curses a caste system which he recognizes despite all patriotic denials.
  • He will fight conservatives whether they are business or labor leaders. 
  • The Radical may resort to the sword but when he does he is not filled with hatred against those individuals whom he attacks. He hates these individuals not as persons but as symbols representing ideas or interests which he believes to be inimical to the welfare of the people.
  • That is the reason why Radicals, although frequently embarking upon revolutions, have rarely resorted to personal terrorism.

The proliferation of the Progressive-teacher union anti-American agenda could be catastrophic. As Thomas Sowell wrote earlier this year,

In France between the two World Wars, the teachers’ union decided that schools should replace patriotism with internationalism and pacifism. Books that told the story of the heroic defense of French soldiers against the German invaders at Verdun in 1916, despite suffering massive casualties, were replaced by books that spoke impartially about the suffering of all soldiers — both French and German — at Verdun.

Germany invaded France again in 1940, and this time the world was shocked when the French surrendered after just 6 weeks of fighting — especially since military experts expected France to win. But two decades of undermining French patriotism and morale had done their work.

American schools today are similarly undermining American society as one unworthy of defending, either domestically or internationally. If there were nuclear attacks on American cities, how long would it take for us to surrender, even if we had nuclear superiority — but were not as willing to die as our enemies were?

And Sowell again,

Shared moral principles enable people with a variety of backgrounds and interests to interact with one another within a commonly understood framework, but busybodies who Balkanize our morality, our language and our political life are destroying that framework.  Patriotism is more than a sentiment. It is a necessity. To keep what history has presented to us, Americans must either love it or lose it. Balkanize America and you risk becoming the Balkans.

In short, patriotism matters. It is the glue that unites us a people. Celebrating this ethnic group and that aggrieved minority and not acknowledging what made this country exceptional will destroy us.

What does June hold in store for the children of California?

June 14th is Flag Day but, as mentioned earlier, there is no mention of it on the CTA website. The only “Awareness Holiday” that the union promotes in June is a month long celebration of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) pride.

The ongoing sexualization of our youth is also an important part of the Progressive-teacher union agenda. More on that soon.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

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