This July I won’t be in D.C. for the NEA convention.
I didn’t run this year as a retired delegate. Looking at the results it doesn’t seem as if anybody cared about who their delegate would be. Out of what they claim are 13,000 retired members the highest vote getter received something in the triple digits.
IEA President Cinda Klickna, running as an at-large delegate statewide (130,000 members can vote) came in first with less votes then fans in line for a beer at a Cubs game.
I have written several posts about my experience at last year’s NEA meeting in Orlando. Following up on the NEA resolution to organize against institutional racism I offered something a bit more specific. I wanted the NEA to support efforts to remove the Confederate flag and all symbols of the Confederacy from schools and public spaces.
Two hours of debate later, the delegates had voted to remove the language about symbols of the Confederacy and passed the language about the flag.
A few weeks ago I was sent a report on how the NEA had implemented by New Business Item. They had drafted model language that locals and state affiliates could offer to legislators and schools boards about the Confederate flag.
Sorry. That wasn’t worth two hours of my time. I’m almost 68. That’s two hours I don’t get back.
I read this week in the New York Times about how Georgetown University in 1838 paid off its debt of about $3.3 million in today’s dollars with the sale of 272 slaves.
Georgetown is a Catholic University founded by Jesuits.
It is not alone in having this sordid history.
Brown, Columbia, Harvard and other early universities were built on the labor and sale of African slaves.
Only recently, in response to student demands, has Harvard decided to drop its university symbol, which happens to be the crest of of the Isaac Royall family. The symbol includes the Harvard motto “Veritas” as well as three sheaves of wheat. According to the law school, Royall was “the son of an Antiguan slaveholder known to have treated his slaves with extreme cruelty.”
Royall used his fortune to help establish Harvard’s first law professorship in the 18th century.
“Veritas” means truth.
Anyway, the NY Times reports that there is now a committee that is trying to find the descendants of the slaves who were sold to pay for Georgetown.
There is talk that Georgetown should pay for the tuition of the slave descendants.
Some of those who they have found have said they don’t want to go to Georgetown.
Nicholas Brown, Sr. was a Providence, RhodeI Island merchant and slave trader who co-founded the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which was renamed Brown University after Brown’s son Nicholas Brown, Jr. in 1804.
I think they should take down the names of the slave traders and slave owners whose names decorate these universities and replace them with the names of the slaves, whose loss of freedom paid for them and whose labor built them, or add the names of the slaves’ descendants.
Maybe somebody at this year’s NEA Representative Assembly in D.C. can offer up an NBI saying the same thing.
It just won’t be me.