Saturday, November 19, 2005

Color Me Surprised

From this RealClearPolitics piece:


The District of Columbia cell of the Communist Party USA has been revealed as holding a monthly luncheon in the cafeteria of the National Education Association (NEA), without the sponsorship but not with the disapproval of the huge, politically powerful schoolteachers union.

The Communist meetings were reported by Chris Peterson in the Washington City Paper edition of Nov. 11-17. A lawyer attending the September meeting bolted from the cafeteria when he learned a reporter was present.

"We had no knowledge of this," NEA spokeswoman Denise Cardinal told this column, "because the NEA does not screen the patrons of our cafeteria or listen in on conversations. It's open to the public."

Here's the full Washington City Paper article. The part about the cafeteria was only one sentence. This article, about a communist cell (their word, not mine) that operates openly in Washington, DC, is moderately disturbing. Here's a sample:

Barry Weinstein, 49, co-chair of the Frederick Douglass Club, has heeded Webb’s call. When I first contacted him, Weinstein cited concern that he’d end up being “red-baited by this article.” Yet when it comes time to meet, Weinstein shows up with a white T-shirt with a red hammer-and-sickle logo and “CPUSA” printed on it. “Look at me—don’t call me a terrorist, and don’t call me less than an American,” he says. “I’m as American as you can get, as patriotic as anyone. Even more so!”

A public-elementary-school teacher in Fairfax County, Weinstein says he has been lavished with presents from his students’ parents, including gift certificates for one of the swank shopping malls at Tysons Corner. With careful explanation to those parents, he has passed the gifts on to charities.

On one level, he thinks communism can be explained only with old stories of labor fights. “Man, to understand communism in America today, you’ve got to go back to the Haymarket Martyrs,” he says. The Haymarket Martyrs were seven anarchists arrested in 1886 after a bomb went off at a Chicago strike supporting the eight-hour workday, resulting in the deaths of eight police officers and four civilians; against the pleadings of organized labor, the anarchists were executed. But when I ask how a distant reference explains the scene today, Weinstein is brought up short.

“You’re right,” he declares, stumped. “I’ve got to think about that. I’ve got an interest in [clarity] as an educator....What I’m trying to do is make this understandable to our [socio-economic] classes today.”

In California, it's illegal for a teacher to be a communist or to advocate communism to students. I'm not sure whether I'm glad this guy isn't in California or if I wish he were so he could be fired.


Spunky said...

Thanks for the post. What's also interesting about this is that the cafeteria is operated by a for profit vendor. I blogged about that aspect as well. I quoted from your blog but you don't have track back so I'm leaving a comment to let you know.

Darren said...

I don't even know how Trackback works; thanks for leaving a comment!

Any guesses as to whether or not that cafeteria, operated by a for-profit vendor, is staffed by union employees? Hehe...I'd guess not!

I read about that once several months ago but wouldn't even begin to know where. I might even have linked to it but I've written several hundred posts now and don't remember them all.

Darren said...

Well, what do you know? Blogger's search engine found it for me: