by Christopher Paslay
A new video produced by the California Federation of Teachers spreads propaganda and gives unions a bad name.
Every so often I run across a person, usually on philly.com’s comment board, who hates teachers unions with the fire of a thousand suns. I’m talking about a palpable, venomous hate, as if teachers unions were not a collection of hardworking professionals dedicated to educating America’s youth but a pack of child molesters who hung out with Jerry Sandusky and his crew of pedophiles.
I never understood this level of disgust, and have written tens of thousands of words trying to defend the good name of teachers and our unions in an effort to improve our public image and show the world who we really are. Recently, however, I ran across a video produced by the California Federation of Teachers that boiled my blood and helped me understand why some folks detest teachers unions with such passion.
Fox News reports:
An animated video produced by a California teachers union uses the crude imagery of a rich man urinating on common folks to decry what narrator Ed Asner claims is rich people’s refusal to pay their share of taxes.
The crude footage is part of a “Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale,” an eight-minute video written and directed by California Federation of Teachers’ communications director Fred Glass. In it, Asner describes a mythical land that seems to represent the U.S. and how it financed its services. He says the rich sought to evade taxes and put their money into “Wall Street” – yet another clue to the real identity of the storybook country. . . .
The word “trickle” is illustrated with the bodily function metaphor, which Kyle Olson, founder of the Michigan-based Education Action Group, said left him disgusted.
“That was the most galling thing about it, the image of the rich guy standing at the top of the scale urinating down on the poor,” Olson said. “It’s nothing more than leftist propaganda.”
On Thursday I wrote an article here on Chalk and Talk about Capitalist Pimps and Marxist Hustlers fighting for their piece of the educational pie which prompted some readers to ask for specific examples of such behavior. Well, this video by the California teachers union is a glowing illustration of Marxist Hustler nonsense. I understand the need for political persuasion and spin–even for a touch of propaganda to brainwash the uninformed. But a rich old white guy pissing on the working class people (specifically, right on a black woman’s head) is over the top.
A number of my fellow teachers claim class warfare is a tactic used only by the right, such as Mitt Romney’s now infamous “47 percent” comment. Compassionate folks on the left, they argue, are above this kind of divisive behavior. Not true. The california teachers union video is not only class warfare at its mud-slinging worst, but it’s also race and gender baiting as well. The CFT disagrees:
Union spokesman Stephen Hopcraft said the complaints about the image amounted to “mock outrage,” but said it may be edited out to prevent it from overwhelming the underlying message of the video.
“We’re very proud of the video,” Hopcraft said. “But maybe we’ll adjust that frame so it doesn’t take over the video. We don’t want any distractions about the message, and we don’t want any debate about a particular frame to drown out the real issue.”
Proud of the video? Amazing. This makes me ashamed to be in a teachers union. I understand full well that as a union member I’m not supposed to say such a thing for purposes of solidarity–our power is in our numbers; both the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the California Federation of Teachers are members of the American Federation of Teachers. Good little union members are supposed to swallow this garbage whole for the sake of the big picture. But I can’t. I can’t stomach that whole leftist blind allegiance group-think mentality.
Besides the tasteless crudity of the video, the facts aren’t even accurate; the top 10 percent of America’s earners pay 70 percent of federal income tax, and the top 1 percent pay nearly 40 percent of income tax (and the bottom 50 percent pays a measly 2 percent). According to Education Action Group News:
The video also claims that when the housing market crashed, the government printed money for “rich people” but they didn’t give any to “ordinary people whose houses and jobs were broken by the crash.”
That’s a patently false statement, as evidenced by a handy-dandy chart courtesy of the New York Times. Here’s a sampling of what was contained in President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package:
- Help states prevent cuts to essential services like education – $53.6 billion
- Extend and increase unemployment compensation – $35.8 billion
- Health coverage under Cobra – $25.1 billion
- Increase food assistance – $20.9 billion
- Increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500 – $15.6 billion
- Provide cash payment to seniors, disabled veterans and other needy individuals – $14.4 billion
- Provide additional money to schools serving low-income children – $13 billion
- Provide additional money for special education – $12.2 billion
- Create new bonds for improvements in public education – $10.9 billion
And the list goes on and on.
The California Federation of Teachers’ video is little more than unsurprising leftist propaganda, aimed to indoctrinate children with no basis in fact.
Video creator Fred Glass at least got the pissing part right–the golden showers part.
Speaking of golden showers, why stop there? If you’re reading this, Mr. Fred Glass, why not let the CFT get real raunchy and incorporate some brown showers or a little scat play? You could edit in some rich old white curmudgeon squatting and taking a dump right on a black woman’s head. Maybe some feces fingerpainting? Perhaps the CFT could ask Ed Asner, the video’s narrator, to do the dirty work. He’s a white old rich Marxist fart (I’m sure Ed would go for it being that he also supports convicted Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal). We could have old Lou Grant himself fingerpaint a KKK on the woman’s back and incorporate some “coded racism.”
Bravo, Mr. Glass, you goofball. Way to sweeten the image of all us hardworking school teachers.