Incarceration Nation

Teachers Rising

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

It began in America’s poorest states and is spreading like wildfire.

 First came Kentucky, then a slew of others: Arizona, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Colorado—if you think about it, these are, for the most part, conservative states and yet these are places where teachers, among the most poorly-paid state and local workers at a public institution, are walking out and uniting to demand better pay, and better state support for their mission—teaching kids.

 In recent years the assault on teaching as a valued profession has left me shocked and disturbed.

 Why this assault on teachers? Because teachers are presumed to be liberal, and tend to support Democratic candidates. There’s yet another reason: conservative hatred of public schools, and their affection for private, and often, charter schools.

But as teachers rise and fight back, they are winning, and showing that they—and labor—can fight back and win.

This insidious war against teachers is a war against those they teach: children—often poor children—often your children.

 Good teachers can open minds.

 Surely, the nation needs more of that, right?, May 15, 2018