New York Daily News
The NAACP wants our children to fail: Why else would it join senseless UFT lawsuit?
By Stanley Crouch
The racial clichés used by the NAACP in the interest of a suit brought against the City of New York by the United Federation of Teachers, the city's teachers union, to prevent charter schools from opening or expanding is way off the mark.
The suit masks the importance of improving American education, which is not only in the interest of the students themselves but might also help us stave off international competition.
In other words, to allow black and Latino students to be poorly served by the educational system is self-destructively irresponsible in the overall context of our global position.
Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant understood this when they faced the issue of whether or not black soldiers should be enlisted in the Civil War, which they were, against protests that they would run from battle. In fact, Lincoln wrote that had not black soldiers served in such large numbers, the North could not have won. The victory would have literally gone South.
Before the 1989 film "Glory," that was not a well-known fact and has still not made enough of an impression on the national consciousness to clarify the importance of what is now going on in education.
Well-educated students from minority backgrounds could do the same thing as their Civil War predecessors in a new battlefield - the global marketplace. This fight is unique to our time, when commerce has become the new means of conquest. Now the battle is largely for markets, not people or land. The new rules for conquest amount to the vanquished remaining customers who continue to buy the products of others. That is the triumph nations like China and India want. Spare the soldiers, but show us your money.
In the arena of public education, supporters of the UFT like the NAACP pollute the conversation with racial rhetoric that has no place in the discussion. But race-baiting or whining about injustice is the only way to defend a union unwilling to face facts showing how consistently they have failed in relation to many charter schools (and even other public school districts).
How the NAACP has fallen since the glory days, when it could be counted on to not only take the high ground, but wage a dignified fight and bravely bring the rest of the nation with it.
In our time, Hazel Dukes, head of the New York chapter of the NAACP, feels no hesitation about calling those who stand up to the UFT as "doing the business of slave masters."
But Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has not taken that lying down. He responded to being called a "slave master" with hard logic in a June 9 Op-Ed written for this paper, saying that he was "bewildered" by the lawsuit.
Race hustlers are not used to this. They prefer the strategy of Rupert Murdoch's media empire: Distort the facts, bend them or simply lie and drown out the opposition.
But last week, Murdoch had to close the London tabloid News of the World because it went so far over the line of decency.
There's a lesson here for Dukes, who during a June 27 educational panel meeting insulted a charter school founder and nearly got into a fight with a parent. New Yorkers won't tolerate such behavior for much longer.
And we should remember that there are threats to our nation's well-being far greater than the hot air spewed by Dukes. Our only choice is to move against them with a skilled and imaginative workforce, high-quality products and services second to none. Education is the key.
<< Back to News