When I heard the news of the fascist torchers and murderers in Charlottesville this weekend, I had a flashback to the 2015 National Education Association Representative Assembly in Orlando.
It took place just days after the killing of nine Black parishioners at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Inspired by the actions of African-American activist, Bree Newsome who had been arrested for bravely climbing a flag pole and taking down the Confederate flag that still waved in front of the South Carolina capitol, I introduced a New Business Item from the floor of the RA.
“The Representative Assembly directs the NEA to support efforts to remove the Confederate flag and all symbols of the Confederacy from public schools and public spaces.”
Following a two-hour debate, the convention’s delegates voted, over my objection, on an amendment to my NBI to remove mention of symbols and monuments in public spaces.
Monuments like the statue of Robert E. Lee, the focus of the Nazi protests this weekend in Charlottesville.
I don’t for a minute believe that a new business item can stop fascists. Apparently, that must be done in the streets.
But, looking back, it was not the NEA’s finest two hours.