Perception always supersedes reality. In my practice of law, I always told clients that cases did not have facts. They had an “aura.” It is the narrative that a judge or jury perceives regardless of the facts.

For instance, a witness who tells one small lie will not be believed no matter how much he later testifies truthfully. On the stage of life, we are typecast by the perceptions of others. And if that typecast is negative, the worst thing we can do is to confirm that perception; or, as a casting director might say, “play to type.”

On May 1, 2019, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) will play to type. Thousands of teachers are scheduled to ditch classes and march on the state legislature. The march is sponsored by this supposedly non-partisan, educational association.

It’s not. It’s a union.

That union will march right into the hands of those who question the need for greater investment in education. We need that investment. Yet the teachers’ upcoming protest will do their cause more harm than good.

In general, there’s nothing wrong with a union march. But, by its aura, the NCAE is a self-declared radical union. And for that reason, On May 1 when the NCAE “plays to type,” to the detriment of teachers and children alike, many North Carolinians will oppose its message.

The NCAE Teachers’ May Day march will form behind its logo. It is a red fist raised violently. It is a symbol of militancy. It actually mimics a violent gesture for which a student might be disciplined. The symbol pays homage to the radical violence of the 1960s.

Even the choice of the color red is significant. That is the color adopted by socialist and communist leaders to symbolize the militancy of the proletariat. It is the color of the Bolshevik banners displayed during the Russian Revolution. It is, in fact, the color of communist banners from Spain to China.

Now, that last deduction might be a stretch. Red often symbolizes benign sports teams. It is the shade we color Republican states. But when red is used in the context of worker rights and is coupled with a clenched fist, the innuendo is socialism.

Of course, if we ask a teacher, he will say he is not a socialist. He just wants more pay. But the symbolism is not lost on the well-educated NCAE leadership. They know the meaning of the symbols they adopted. The fact that teachers are just out to make a decent living is not as relevant as the aura the leadership creates. It makes teachers pawns in the cause of their leaders’ radicalism.

Even the May Day date plays to type. It is International Workers Day. The “holiday” was established by an international association of socialist and communist political organizations. In 1904, the Sixth Conference of the Second (Workers’) International meeting in Amsterdam called upon all labor to demonstrate on that day for “the class demands of the proletariat.” Today, May Day is still one of the most important holidays in the People’s Republic of China and North Korea.

During the Cold War, when May Day and socialism were favored less than the NCAE leadership favors it today, President Eisenhower counter-designated May 1 as Law Day USA. That designation was, in fact, an anti-communist political statement separating American free labor from communist slave labor.

When the NCAE marches down Jones Street in Raleigh with their red fist held high, there will be no room for Republicans. In 2018, the NCAE closely coordinated its march with the North Carolina Democratic Party. The two groups registered marchers through mutual links between the organizations’ websites. By aligning itself with Democrats and their socialist rock stars like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the NCAE erodes bipartisan support for education.

Some might say that fists, colors and a May 1 alternative to a maypole dance do not amount to “creeping socialism.” But aura is reality. Public school teachers who march behind a closed fist on a communist holiday make a compelling case for charter schools and vouchers. Our educators need support from a consensus of voters. The conduct of the NCAE is antithetical to that goal. Both teachers and their union must “unclench their fist and extend their hand.”

(9) comments

Peyton Cook

Teachers’ unions primarily are concerned about teachers, not students. The more pay teachers receive, the more the unions siphon. The red fist is not a good symbol. It has long been that of hardline Socialists. But perhaps the NCAE leadership falls into that category. The May 1st march adds to that perception.

ken leary

Considering your color scheme, let me suggest that the neoliberal propaganda you offer in this article is a red herring. The purpose of your argument is to delegitimize, simply by labeling it as "socialist", the cooperative efforts of men and women who are organizing to improve the conditions under which they work and educate our population. People should ask why the people who dedicate their lives to education have to fight for a living wage and the means to facilitate their efforts. You don't ask that question Bob. Between the morons who think religious indoctrination, or training to run a machine (talking to you Sandhills C. C.) constitutes "education" in our society we are fast on our way to becoming a nation of ignorant manipulated widgets; except, of course, for our ability to murder anyone, anywhere, as long as we label them socialist, or worse, communist. Right Bob?
And Tomashoff: can you explain the CIA's role in Chili concerning Allende; Mossaddegh in Iran; Lumumba in the Congo; Arbenz in Guatemala; what is going on in Venezuela at the moment; the 2009 Honduran coup; anything with Pol Pot in Cambodia; Vietnam, etc., etc. etc. etc.. any drug smuggling? Any assassination attempts (we already mentioned Lumumba)

Jim Tomashoff

The CIA was an instrument used by the Presidents to fight the Cold War. Many dumb, and evil things were done in the course of fighting this "war." I'm not going to justify the actions you mentioned, they were wrong. Although I guess I don't include "...what is going on in Venezuela at the moment..." as one of them. It is my hope that Maduro is toppled asap. For what it is worth, I choose to work for the CIA because, and few people know this, the intelligence analysis part of the Agency, the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), where I worked, was the only agency or department in government to realistically and consistently, and as it turned out correctly, question the efficacy of U.S. policy and actions in Vietnam. In other words, they spoke truth to power. That the DI continued to do so historically, is borne out in Iraq. That is why Cheney and Scooter Libby, threatened analysts in their visits to the Agency, who dared to question the assumptions and arguments they made to "W" regarding U.S. actions in Iraq before and after we invaded, something that had never happened before in the Agency's history.

Kent Misegades

NCAE members who illegally strike on May 1st should be fired and lose all benefits for life and be barred from any government employment for life. They are dupes of the far left, ‘useful odiots’ of a Democrat party that uses identity politics in their desperate attempt to remain relevant. Parents need to decide if they really want their children taught by these radicals. There are many alternatives to government schools.

Conrad Meyer

Won't be long before your cia troll will berate your comment.
I have little use for public sector unions after decades of bad experiences up north.

Jim Tomashoff

Did I berate Kent sufficiently for your taste Conrad? And it's CIA, not cia. The former is a group of highly qualified, often highly trained individuals who work for salaries far below what they could earn in the private sector because they love their Country and want to contribute to its security, unlike the current President, whom I'll guess you just love. I have no idea what or who cia is. Care to enlighten us?

Scott Bowers

I would suggest doing a bit of research, specifically the topics; “Unions in NC” and “Does NC have a teacher’s union?”

You might find:
1) North Carolina is a “Right To Work” state, meaning that while unions are allowed in NC, no one can be required to participate in them in order to get or keep a job.

2) North Carolina’s union membership rate is extremely low.

3) North Carolina does not have (and the NCAE is not) a teacher’s union.
You see, North Carolina prohibits collective bargaining for public employees.

So no need to fear; it would seem North Carolina is already quite a bit different from our northern relations, at least on this topic.

Jim Tomashoff

Let's be upfront here. Kent's objective is to utterly destroy public schools. He does not believe government, at any level, should be involved in educating its citizens. Kent has often written that vouchers should be issued to parents and they should be used, in lieu of taxes paid to government for government run schools, by citizens to be applied to the cost of attending private, religious, or home schools. Hence his eagerness to bar striking teachers from "government employment for life." Oh, and by the way, Kent also opposes the creation of all unions, public or private. Unions are just "takers," not "makers." Kent wants to get rid of all takers as well.

Peyton Cook

The bulk of funding for public schools come from taxes paid by citizens. I, too, believe vouchers should be issued to families to chose which school to send their children be it public, charter, and private. It would introduce competition and might force underachieving public schools to shape up.

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