UFT/AFT: Think Like Vichy
I really gag every time I read this, but here is my reasoned response, something I am not known for.
In France in WWII there was a choice. Oppose the Germans unequivocally or compromise - to paraphrase you - "they could either vigorously oppose and isolate themselves, they are powerless to change these policies, or, attempt to cooperate and modify policies."
The French resistance chose the former, the Vichy government chose the latter. DeGaulle vs. Petain. After all Vichy reasoned. The Germans were dominant. Vichy asked, "Do you want to be totally under their boot or have us there to modify their policies? We know they want to kill all the Jews but we can save at least some of them."
I am not calling anyone a Nazi sympathizer but I am using the most graphic example I can of what I would call "The Vichy" mentality. A way of thinking that is so prevalent coming from the very forces that had the ability to put up a fight but instead think like Vichy.
Unions can fight for what is right for teachers and students and if done in a moral and democratic manner, they will not only not be isolated but will win people over to what is clearly right to so many educators and increasingly the public (see new leadership in Chicago). In fact it is the leadership of the AFT and UFT that is becoming isolated not only from its own membership but from the astute non teaching community.
It may look like the summer of 1940 in Europe to many. Maybe having Diane Ravitch (our De Gaulle?) not only join but help lead the resistance is akin to the US entering the war.
When Diane Ravitch and others break with your policy it is clear that it is you who are on the wrong side of history.
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