Here we’re re-posting an article originally published on the Black Orchid Collective’s website,
Politicians, I don’t trust em, its all in the name
the president, the mayor all want political gain.
Theyd rather put the kids in jail, shackle em wit chains,
then provide an education that challenges the brain.”- Rebel Diaz, “Chicago Teacher” music video
I am a teacher in Seattle, and I’ve been following the Chicago teachers’ strike closely. I’m inspired to see any group of workers and oppressed people fighting back. If I were in Chicago, I’d be on the picket lines. At the same time, I’d like to pose some challenges about how struggles around the school system can go further, to more directly confront the rampant race and gender oppression reproduced daily in our schools. The quote above by Rebel Diaz speaks to what’s really going on. I think the teachers’ strike begins to address some of the problems in public education, but I don’t think we can defeat this oppression simply by supporting or relying on the teacher’s union.