Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Villainy of Teachers

 

We were having a conversation in the teachers’ room and discussing the Chicago teachers’ strike and remarking on how the politicians and the media tried to bully the Chicago teachers with all this talk about how they were harming the interest of their students by having the nerve to walk out on strike and leave the kids without school.  One of the teachers in the room remarked,  “I’m really tired of us teachers being made the villains, of being blamed, being vilified.  I’m really, really tired of being villainized.”

I sympathize.  I recognize the truth there, but I’m not sure I feel so bad about it.  Maybe it’s because, like misery, villainy loves company.  I mean think about it.  We’re actually in fairly good company.   Immigrants are being villainized.  That’s a fairly sizeable group of people.  And a lot of us would have a hard time finding anything to eat without them.

Black people, for centuries, have been villainized.  Young people, especially African American and Latino, are really being villainized, disrespected, arrested and imprisoned in huge numbers.  Native Americans have been villainized for centuries, too.   During World War II Japanese Americans were villainized and incarcerated.

Then there are the public workers and unions — even people who take retirement pay.   In the 1950s, teachers and writers, film makers and union activists, anyone with progressive views or sympathetic to socialist countries were villains.  Back in the 1960s those who protested the Vietnam war or who became activists were villainized.  Feminists have been villainized for years.  So have gays and lesbians.

 

Looking outside this country, the Filipinos were villainized at the end of the 19th century when they refused to accept U.S. “liberation”.   I can remember when the Koreans were villainized, and then the Vietnamese.   The Chinese were villainized when they were socialist, and now, again, as they are capitalist and threaten U.S. hegemony in Asia, it seems like, once again, they will become the villains.   The Soviets were villainized and the Russians could again earn that status.  During the 1960s and 1970s people around the world who stood up against colonialism and fought in liberation struggles were villainized; guerrillas were villainized; Cuba — villainized for decades.     I can remember in the 1980s when countries in Central America were villainized.  Then came Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan — Muslims, Arabs and South Asians — all villainized.  And what about Palestinians? They’ve got a permanent place on the villain’s list.    Romney’s trying to villainize 47% of the population that are, in his world, slackers.  And I wonder if teachers are on that list, too?   Would that make us villains x 2?

At one time or another the label of villain has been pinned on a major part of humanity.    About the only people who are not villainized are the bankers, the CEOs, the weapons makers, the drone makers, the spies, the Pentagon brass, the big politicians and, of course, the media, which they own.  They are never villains because they define who has those qualities of villainy.

Given the attitude I find among a lot of teachers, the villainy is bound to grow.  There’s no telling how villainous we might become.

And given the determination of the elite to knock teachers out of the way so corporate vultures can feed on the carcass of public education, it’s unlikely that we teachers are going to see any change in status for some time to come.  So we might as well get used to it.

 

Bruce Neuburger is a public school teacher in California for 26 years.  


More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail