The National Education Association knows the public at large would be outraged to know the full extent of its true business, just as its members would be to discover how little of it actually has to do with job-centric concerns like wages, benefits and workplace safety.
That’s why for generations the NEA has shamelessly peddled itself as the altruistic champion of teachers and education.
But whatever was left of NEA’s credibility eroded for good when it aligned itself with the movement to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) in every one of the nation’s schools, regardless of what state legislatures require — and parents demand.
In early July, more than 5,000 teachers across the country signed a pledge to continue teaching the intentionally divisive curriculum to their students even if they work in one of the 21 states currently developing legislation to ban it.
The pledge, which states simply, “We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law,” is the brainchild of the Zinn Education Project, which demands American students be taught the “truth about this country — (that) it was founded on dispossession of Native Americans, slavery, structural racism and oppression; and structural racism is a defining characteristic of our society today.”
While the pledge itself is not a teachers’ union operation per se, it’s hard to disentangle the two. The Zinn Education Project, for example, is a collaborative effort of Teaching for Change and Rethinking Schools, nonprofits that have each been paid tens of thousands of dollars by the NEA over the years.
And in late June, the NEA leadership voted to allocate $127,600 to “fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric,” as well as to “oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.”
Part of the mechanism endorsed by the NEA for defending CRT was to join with the Zinn Education Project to stage a “national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.”
But the union didn’t stop there. It then allocated $56,500 to “conduct opposition research on groups that oppose the use of critical race theory in school curricula.”
Before a description of the business item was scrubbed from NEA’s website, it vowed the union would:
“ … research the organizations attacking educators doing anti-racist work and/or use the research already done and put together a list of resources and recommendations for state affiliates, locals, and individual educators to utilize when they are attacked … The research, resources, and recommendations will be shared with members through NEA’s social media, an article in NEA Today, and a recorded virtual presentation/webinar.”
Translation: The nation’s largest teachers’ union will use the dues of its members to fund a self-styled police agency, not only ferreting out the personal and contact information of those who dare oppose its will, but no doubt using it to retaliate against them.
So much for advocating on behalf of downtrodden workers.
In fact, the NEA — and every other government employee union, for that matter — was co-opted by hardcore socialists, whose poorly camouflaged goal is to use the organization as the tool with which to remake America in their own image.
And for generations, they were able to do it with dues money forcibly confiscated from the paychecks of members — few of whom even knew it was happening, and fewer still would have approved of it if they did.
The U.S. Supreme Court recognized this injustice and, in rulings like Harris v. Quinn (2014) and Janus v. AFSCME (2018), it affirmed the right of public-sector employees to decline union membership, dues and/or so-called “agency fees.”
In response, the unions adopted a wide variety of unconstitutional but still-being-litigated measures to suppress these rights. Because they had no choice.
Organized labor leaders understand all too well that if government employees are able to exercise their fundamental right to opt out, it spells the end not only for public-sector unions, but it also takes a huge bite out of the liberal candidates and causes they so generously fund with someone else’s money.
NEA and other government unions have long been among the Left’s largest donors, but in recent years they’ve been emboldened to branch out into issues — such as defunding the police, virulent opposition to Israel, etc. — that aren’t remotely related to schools or teachers.
But the union’s eagerness to subject every public school student in America to a curriculum that openly espouses hatred for their country and assigns guilt for countless alleged wrongdoings purely on the basis of skin color betrays an even more reprehensible strategy.
No longer content to simply function as the Leftists’ banker, the teachers’ unions now apparently want to play a more direct role when it comes to indoctrinating the next generation of radicals.
However benignly the NEA may characterize its motives and its ideals, actions speak louder than words.
The NEA is coming for you. But first, it wants your kids.