The president and vice president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers gave us the gift of this KABOOM!-worthy interview in which they respond to a pandering interviewer on Good Morning America about the “controversial” provision in the new teachers’ contract that is racially discriminatory. Ethics Alarms wrote about it here,earlier this week. The provision isn’t controversial: there is no legitimate controversy. The contract requires that white teachers be laid off before “teachers of color” regardless of seniority or any other factor. That’s illegal. It violates the Civil Rights laws and the Constitution. No question, no argument. Can’t do it. No controversy about that at all.
The two union officials’ smug, intellectually dishonest and evasive comments in the interview, if nothing else, demonstrate that neither is qualified to teach any students anything. Since they are the leaders of the Minneapolis teachers, and they are, the interview demonstrates in great measure why public education is failing.
Watch the interview, if you can stand it, and consider:
1. The GMA interviewer quotes the public schools officials as justifying the racist policy as a “remedy for past discrimination.” There is no policy anywhere in the nation in any field that requires firing qualified white employees today to compensate for racial discrimination in the past. Allowing race to be a factor in hiring decisions has met court approval when appropriately justified and reasonably executed, but not firing employees solely based on race.
2. The opening blather of the union president in response to the question of why this policy was necessary is double-talk. First she says that what matters is what is best for the students, then states that what is best for students are teachers who are skilled and experienced and that students can trust. Finally, she resorts to the qualification of “teachers students can see themselves in,” concluding, apparently, that the latter trumps experience and skill, and that white teachers are just not as trustworthy as those “of color.”
Her argument, taken at face values, would demand segregated classrooms, since white students can only learn best when they have white teachers (who they can see themselves in!) and the same is true for black students. Girls should also be taught only by female teachers, and boys by male teachers, if identifying with instructors is more important than experience and ability. Her statement contradicts her opening salvo, that what “matters most” is what results in the best education for the students. Obviously what matters most to the union is racially discriminating against “whitey.”
3. Then the union president says she’s extremely proud of engaging in illegal discrimination. That is signature significance: anyone who says on TV that they are proud of racial discrimination is a dangerous contagion in a democratic society.
4. Arguably the most obnoxious moment in the interview is the vice-president’s answer to the question about why the provision in a contract settled on in March has become an issue now. Her response is, in essence, that nobody flagged it earlier (because local journalists were asleep, lazy, incurious and incompetent) and because the union and schools, knowing it would cause massive criticism, were sure not to highlight it. The union thought it could slip racial discrimination under the metaphorical radar; now their officials blame “MAGA media” for letting the public know what they have every right to know and should know. The woman might as well have said, “Well, we thought we had the media pretty much in our pockets, but those undemocratic Republicans spoiled everything…”
5. Next she justifies the unethical, illegal anti-white provision by saying that they voted for it and marched for it. Yeah, I recall that the South voted for Jim Crow policies too. “We voted for it” is neither an ethical nor a legal defense. A teacher who uses logic like that is not to be be trusted teaching anything but gym and maybe arts and crafts.
6. It’s a non-story, she says! A city contract that says skin-color will determine who keeps their jobs is a non-story. Well, maybe in the gloriously woke tribal spoils system progressives are working hard to inflict on the nation that would be a non-story, but right now, the laws say that people cannot be deprived of equal protection under the law because of their race.
I have to call on Frank Drebbin here:
7. And it gets worse: the next rationalization for the illegal, unethical and racist provision is that it is unlikely to be used. Why have it then? Or why stop there; why not have a contract provision that any teacher found guilty of having impregnating a student should be summarily executed? That would be an illegal provision: would this union hack argue that such a provision was acceptable because the conditions triggering it would never happen?
Are these women foundering and desperate to defend the indefensible, or are they just not very bright?
8. More disconnects: the veep argues that qualified teachers avoid the district because “they’re not paying us enough.” Well…a) they are paying these two teachers too much, since they reveal in the interview that they lack both critical thinking skills and integrity, and b) qualified white teachers would be nuts to want to work in a system where they are penalized for the color of their skin, and punished for the conduct of those long dead.
9. Boy, the president is really an idiot. She makes a point of saying that discriminating against whites—“this controversial language”—doesn’t address the problem of an inadequate teaching force, which the two officers claim is the “crisis.” So not only is the provision illegal, unethical and discriminatory, it also doesn’t accomplish anything positive to justify it. Yet she’s “extremely proud” of that language.
10. After the union hacks say that they don’t fear court challenges to the contract—what’s there to fear? The second the racial firing terms are challenged, they are gone—the nauseating interviewer waxes on about how much their “passion” resonates with viewers. Does their racism and ignorance of the laws of the land also resonate?
18 thoughts on “Ten Ethics Observations On This Head-Exploding Interview”
What does “they have to come off with more money” mean? That statement was uttered by the VP in the interview.
I always get a kick out of those teachers who say that without higher pay the system cannot recruit and retain the best and the brightest. These two are living examples of the truth in that statement. Obviously, they are not the best and the brightest given that they are still around.
Especially as the average teacher salary this year is apparently 61,730 (according to the national center for education statistics.) To my mind, that’s not bad for a job with 3 months of vacation time built in.
A bit more than 82,300 based on monthly income, if it was a full year job.
I wonder if the woke president of the union would embrace pay cuts and larger class sizes for white teachers so non-white teachers could get paid more and have smaller classes to attract more of these under represented teachers.
That is the question that should have been asked. The current illegal policy does not require any shared sacrifice by those with greater seniority. The black teacher/union vp has 24 years experience and was thus apparently not a victim of discrimination in her career so why are younger guys teachers victims of past discrimination and needing special discriminatory benefits? Seems to me that under representation is a function of life choices not discrimination.
I’d need a bigger blog to list all the questions that slug of an interviewer should have asked. Like, “The provision is outright discrimination based on skin color. Do you deny that?” But you offer a good one.
“The black teacher/union vp has 24 years experience…Seems to me that under representation is a function of life choices not discrimination.”
Remarkable how this individual presumes that underrepresentation of black teachers at her school the past 24yrs is *positively* a result of prejudicial hiring and per SOP of wokeness offers zero evidence to support her conclusion.
Given the ongoing teacher shortage; how do these myopic geniuses plan on filling their precious melanin-based quotas from an extremely predominant whitey application pool?
To say the frustration of these two is misplaced would be a gross understatement.
They need look no further than what is happening in lower education, no thanks to greedy self-centered teachers’ unions.
But in many cases, “disparate impact” is enough to “prove” discrimination.
Scott Adams of Dilbert fame mentioned on his podcast that this kind of policy has been in effect across many organizations for decades.
This teachers union was mearly dumb enough to put it on paper.
Much less head exploding when you view it from that perspective.
Back in 2008 during the great recession I was a senior engineer and we had a mass layoff. The company was required to fit the layoffs to quotas based on minority percentages – meaning more white males had to be laid off compared to other groups. I’m not sure what the layoff threshold was to trigger this requirement but I knew at the time. If a company was going to lay off only a few employees there was no quota requirement but if the company announced they were planning a large layoff the quotas had to be met. Therefore, I can vouch for Scott Adams statement at least as far as my experience back in 2008. Actually we had to mass layoffs during the great recession and those quotas were talked about extensively among the employees.
What I have seen them do is have a mass layoff, they rehire almost immediately under their affirmative action policy. Same effect, but more legal.
That is undoubtedly true. Like age bias, it is too easy to concoct other justifications that obscure the real, illegal basis of the dismissal.
Worse, their positions in the union make them impossible to remove – even for cause, which would be warranted in this case, given they deliberately negotiated a contract that violates multiple civil rights laws.
This sort of thing is not exposing hypocrisy, it exposes the hierarchy in the minds of a lot of people on the Left.
I would assume that this policy would not survive a legal chsallenge.
It won’t, but the union will waste millions of dollars of its members’ dues in lawyer fees fighting such a challenge. What a productive use of those resources!
Once they lose the lawsuit, they will just implement the policy under slightly different circumstances and start the cycle over again. This policy will be in force for decades to forever.
Imagine paying union dues so that your own union would demand a contract provision that requires your employer to discriminate against you.
I’ve been anti-union since I was a child and saw my father bullied and threatened with lethal violence by other members of his own union (United Auto Workers) to go along with their strike. I haven’t seen anything from any labor union in the decades since then to change my mind.
As I’ve said here before, current BLM and anti-racism groups are separatist movements militating for a black separatist state. These “teachers” want separate and who cares if they’re even equal schools for black kids taught and administered by black teachers and administrators. Why don’t these people migrate to Nigeria or Congo to get what they want effortlessly and well within their productive lifetimes? Migration is a human right and the solution for millions and millions of people barging into the U.S. Shouldn’t it work for people in the U.S. looking to better their circumstances in a less inhospitable environment?
This was such a disturbing video and it says nothing good about the profession.