In a Cirque du Soleil-worthy backpedal, the Chicago Teacher’s Union recently removed a tweet by union representative Julio Rosas that stated:
“The push to reopen schools is rooted in racism, sexism, and misogyny.”
Mr. Rosas, who appears to abide by the Cartesian paraphrase “I tweet therefore I am,” offered no thoughts, reasoning, information, or data to back his and the union proper’s claim – but maybe he was hamstrung by the Twitter restriction of 280 characters. Although, it looks like he had 220 odd characters or so remaining if he’d wanted to back his incendiary accusation with anything resembling a cogent argument.
In any case, in a now time-honored ritual of retraction, the 28,000 strong Chicago Teacher’s Union took the tweet down – but not, of course, before it managed to cause a major stir. This ability to say whatever you want, then take it back, without fear of onerous repercussion or stern reprisal, is a privilege enjoyed exclusively by the left in an age of unequal outcomes. Call it the Cake and Eat It Corollary.
Back in July, Boeing communications chief Neil Golightly was fired for an opinion piece he wrote 35 years ago in which he averred that women should not serve in combat – a majority opinion of those who served in the military at the time. He was a 29-year-old fighter pilot and “disowned” the comments soon after – but it was still too late to save his career a third of a century later. Contrast that with the discovery of Joy Reid’s homophobic slurs in a series of tweets a decade ago – something that caused her discomfort but didn’t cost her job. Maybe claiming her account had been hacked bought her the time to craft the perfect, insincerely contrite mea culpa. In any event, Reid’s ‘punishment’ was a promotion to take over her colleague Chris Matthews’ coveted weekend anchor spot when the smoke had finally cleared.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the controversial New York Times 1619 Project that asserts slavery and racism as the most essential and immutable components of the American experience, wrote a racist screed in which she stated:
“The white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world.”
In spite of this, she was celebrated with a Pulitzer Prize for a work that was recently quietly amended to reflect that 1619 was in fact not the true founding of America – one among many exceptions taken by actual, respected historians to her revisionism. Like Reid, Hannah-Jones failed upwards.
Lesson learned: Say whatever you want no matter how horrible, demeaning or mendacious as long as you’re loud, proud, and of the left – and willing to issue a fake apology as necessary.
Joy Reid and Nikole Hannah-Smith’s examples were later followed by another opportunistic hater in Los Angeles. Back in August of this year, Secondary Vice-President Julie Van Winkle of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) posted a photo of herself wearing a shirt that said “Blue Lives Murder” and another photo of herself holding a sign that said police unions are “white supremacist gangs.” But it’s OK because she offered a half-hearted apology and pivoted to reminding us how much she doesn’t wish to distract from “the real work that needs to happen – fighting for Black lives in our schools and our communities.”
Hard to say if that is part of the essential mission directive of the Los Angeles teacher’s union – but we can take Julie Van Winkle’s word for it. Far from being upbraided for her obtuse post, she’s still in line for the UTLA presidency, which is now requiring its leadership to attend professional developments on the subject of sensitivity about race, but not – as it turns out – on the subject of sensitivity toward law enforcement, which is comprised of officers of all races.
The Chicago Teacher’s Union faced backlash for the tweet, and acknowledged that the conversation about returning to school requires “nuance” – something Van Winkle evidently missed providing.
The return to school, like everything else, has also become highly politicized. To put this all in perspective, seasonal flu is much more deadly for children than COVID is. Fewer than 160 children have died from coronavirus in this country, of approximately 56.4 million students attending school. The vast majority of students who test positive are asymptomatic and the virus has a recovery rate of 99.74%. To keep this many kids out of school for a threat that is fractional at best begins to look like a national dereliction of duty.
President Trump, Betsy DeVos, Scott Atlas, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have all recommended that students return to in-person learning – just as Los Angeles has imposed its most draconian measures yet: shutting schools for any and all personnel entirely for two weeks. Even Anthony Fauci, who always hedges his bets by taking both sides of an argument, believes schools should open up. And CDC Director Robert Redfield also recommends that students return to school.
But who needs science anymore when you have authoritarians like Gavin Newsom and Gil Garcetti to tell us the real threats we face and of what we should actually be in mortal fear? Just a guess – but could it be the charges of “racism, sexism and misogyny” that they’re trying to avoid by not pushing to reopen schools?
Read more from Pennel Bird.