Saturday, November 19, 2005

Is the NEA the new Animal Farm?

Robert Novak wrote in a commentary for Real Clear Politics that the Washington DC cell of the Communist Party is holding its monthly luncheon at the NEA headquarters. Here's the scoop.

The District of Columbia cell of the Communist Party USA has been revealed as holding a monthly luncheon in the cafeteria of the National Education Association (NEA), without the sponsorship but not with the disapproval of the huge, politically powerful schoolteachers union. The Communist meetings were reported by Chris Peterson in the Washington City Paper edition of Nov. 11-17. A lawyer attending the September meeting bolted from the cafeteria when he learned a reporter was present.

"We had no knowledge of this," NEA spokeswoman Denise Cardinal told this column, "because the NEA does not screen the patrons of our cafeteria or listen in on conversations. It's open to the public."

I don't believe in guilt by association but a little distance from such a group would be nice. The NEA seems reluctant to even denounce them.

Darren at Right at the Left Coast links to the Washington City Paper article that talks more about the communist group known as the Frederick Douglass Club. One somewhat disturbing fact is the co-chair, Barry Weinstein, is an elementary school teacher in Fairfax, VA. I thought it was interesting that for the interview he wore a white T-shirt with a red hammer-and-sickle logo and "CPUSA" printed on it. Here's Mr. Weinstein's perpsective,
Look at me - don't call me a terrorist, and don't call me less than an American," he says. "I'm as American as you can get, as patriotic as anyone. Even more so!"
What I'd like to know is just what definition does Mr. Weinstein use to teach "patriotism" to his young scholars? As a teacher, Darren also noted that in his state of California "it's illegal for a teacher to be a communist or to advocate communism to students."

I wonder if Mr. Weinstein also realizes that this cafeteria is operated by a capitalist company. The Education Gadfly wrote about this in September (via Edwonk).
NEA Cafe's operation is outsourced to a private, for-profit vendor, Seasons Culinary Services - precisely what the union abhors in public education. This firm's philosophy is worth sharing, both because it's a fine one for a food service outfit and because it reads like the gustatory equivalent of a charter school.
The vendor works hard to rid themelves of the stereotypical cafeteria food image. (aka your local public school.) The Education Gadfly actually visited the cafe and noted, "If the NEA ran its restaurant by its education policy precepts, everyone would be served the same food - and told where to sit."

My children an I have just finished reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was not lost on us how the animals began to act like the farmer once they got into power. Maybe George Orwell was really writing about the NEA in 2005.

(Hat tip: Christine Miller)

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