Four administrators and one teacher – each one committed to a strategic diversity plan – have been fired from a private school, Sewickley Academy, in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
They are the victims of the racist campaign to root out the latest fascist conspiracy, Critical Race Theory.
I’m reminded of the Red Scare of my youth.
The Red Scare of the 1950s hit very close to my home. But it was hugely damaging to the teaching profession.
In 1953, 378 New York City teachers were fired as part of the anti-Communist furor of the cold war, when invoking the Fifth Amendment became automatic grounds for termination.
Anti-communism isn’t quite the thing anymore, aside from our local Chicago alder Nicky Sposato, who warned that if the city didn’t put back the statue of Christopher Columbus, “the commies have won.”
Now the Republican Party of Trump is playing its race card using Critical Race Theory as a way to win back Congress in 2022.
As part of the campaign, school boards are being targeted if even a hint of truth about our nation’s racist history is even whispered in a classroom.
Banning books. Shredding curriculum. Firing administrators and teachers.
To some degree our teacher unions have fought back. But in my experience they’re not too good at this.
When a Right-wing Michigan group demanded that I be fired for being an activist union president, the Executive Director of the IEA, Audrey Soglin, told me straight up that I was on my own.
My work emails and personnel files were demanded under the Freedom of Information Act, and still my state union was silent.
What will they do if the witch hunters step it up several notches.
And they will.
It does no good to point out that Critical Race Theory is a field of study and isn’t commonly taught below graduate level education. Or to say (correctly) that the topic is being used to stand in for any teaching about race and racism and U.S. history that makes conservative white people uncomfortable.
In 1952 Irving Adler was a teacher, a Left winger at Straubenmuller Textile High School on West 18th Street in New York.
“I was teaching a class when the principal sent up a letter he had just received from the superintendent announcing my suspension, as of the close of day.”