Long-time readers of this blog know that I completely support environmentalism. The devil, however, is in the details, and those details get creepy when liberals (e.g., teachers union magazines) start identifying the details. I'll only highlight one of the stories on the topic, which comes, as you might expect, from my favorite (cough cough) city of San Francisco.
The title of that story is "JUSTICE motivates student activists". Do I need to read any further than this statement:
As the semester progressed, students quickly figured out that environmental injustice was rampant in their own backyard. In fact, they decided it could be considered a form of "environmental racism."
That doesn't mean that they consider cutting down a tree to be lynching. These teachers and their students complain that there's more pollution and toxicity in their poor neighborhood than in a "white neighborhood", which they identify as having more money. Which is a more plausible explanation: racism, or cost of disposal? If poorer people live in cheaper areas, and those poorer people are predominantly minorities, the color of their skin doesn't explain business practices--money does. Of course, it's more fun--and intellectually lighter lifting--just to play the race card and move on. These teachers aren't teaching their students about so-called social justice, they're teaching them to view life through the prism of race and class. They're setting these students up for the very failures they're lamenting.
I would have laughed at another article if I thought for a moment that the authors weren't dead serious. "The political divide can disrupt equilibrium in rural communties" was the lengthy title.
Another rural chapter member said that the Republicans vs. Democrats mindset was causing Republicans to drop out of her local association. She suggested that maybe it's time for members to seek common ground rather than to emphasize their differences.
"To me, it's not about Democratic or Republican issues," said lakeport Teachers Association member Paul Larrea. "To me, it's about kids. What No Child Left Behind has done to the education system is not a Republican or Democratic issue; it's an issue about kids."
Sounds like Paul and I wouldn't even agree on NCLB. How do you find common ground in such politicized areas? But let's continue:
Conference participants agreed that the best solution was not to "shut up and teach." Instead, they encouraged each other to reach out to community members--in good times and bad.
I'm curious--why does this only apply to rural schools? Why does the CTA not recognize and admit its starring role in creating this divide?
When the CTA stops being a reliable PAC for the Democrat Party, then they might have some credibility on this issue. My guess is the only reason they put that article in this issue is so they can convince their choir that they're "reaching out" to Republicans, when in fact the opposite is true.
I swear that if this magazine claimed there were 24 hours in a day, I'd be skeptical and would seek independent corroboration. That's how little trust I have in them.