Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union and every lisping Harvard sociology major’s worst nightmare, is at it again. At a recent Illinois Labor History Society event, she praised the violent tactics of the labor movement:
We are at a moment when the wealth disparity in this country is very remnishent [sic] of the robber-baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill — just really, like, off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that. Well, hold on [laughter] . . . I don’t think we’re at that point.
A certain far-right-wing Republican was criticized a few years ago for proposing “Second Amendment remedies” for the current size of our government — good to see Karen Lewis keeping it old school about fixing our class system with Robespierran remedies. She admits,
That’s scary to most people. But the key is, they think nothing about killing us. They think nothing about putting our people in harm’s way. They think nothing about lethal working conditions.
It’s not really clear how since the days of The Jungle any American workplaces were actually avoidably dangerous places to work, though Lewis apparently believes that Teach for America can create deadly learning environments. But wait, there is a way in which Rahm Emanuel and fat-cat ed reformers are killing Chicago teachers, Lewis continues:
During the strike, I cannot tell you how many times someone came up to me and said, “what do you mean, the schools aren’t all air-conditioned”?
Yep, air conditioning — life-or-death issue. Regarding Chicagoans’ surprise at finding out that CPS buildings aren’t air conditioned, Lewis explained, “There is a disconnect in our country, from how some of us live, and how other people live.” Lewis’s febrile fantasies about the Freon divide aside, there is a disconnect here, between what teachers’ unions claim to be doing when they oppose education-reform proposals — protecting kids’ interests — and what we see them doing when they meet with their political allies – revealing their left-wing loyalties and the worst barbarous impulses of the labor movement.