Former teacher/political activist turned MTA President Merrie Najimy forwarded an extremely racist email to all MTA members from MTA ALANA, a group of teachers of teachers of color who have a subgroup within the MTA.
It began with this email from Najimy.
As part of the MTA’s commitment to racial, social and economic justice, we have supported MTA members of color in establishing local and statewide ALANA Educator networks. ALANA – the letters stand for African, Latino, Asian and Native American – welcomes educators who identify as BIPOC and seeks to help organize them, engage them in direct action, and encourage them to take on leadership roles. It is an MTA rank-and-file-led movement. The Statewide ALANA network has been very active around the issues at the intersection of COVID-19, a safe return to learning, and Black Lives Matter. ALANA Educators are deeply committed to fighting for racial, social and economic justice, as well as helping White educators develop as accomplices and co-conspirators to make our schools and our society truly become places where Black Lives Matter through policy, pedagogy, practice and curriculum. They have written the statement below – which is grounded in their personal experiences and deep pain as people of color, as educators and as unionists – to you, who are also unionists and educators.
They’re very committed to racial, social, and economic justice, they just won’t show up to work knowing full well that students of color, and kids from impoverished backgrounds will be disproportionately effected by “remote learning,” and the racial achievement gap will grow. They put their own selfish fears of a virus over the well being of black and brown children, because they’ve never even pretended to care about helping kids learn.
Here’s the email from MTA ALANA.
Everything you need to know about that letter is that they started it off by writing, “dear white educators.” Imagine addressing any other race of people with that condescending, racist tone. Here are some of the most egregious things they stated.
The repeated trauma of inexcusable and unjust acts of violence inflicted upon Black and Brown people should weigh heavily on people of all races. This generational trauma continues to unfold, affecting our daily lives and furthering the ever present pain of our people. Black and Brown people are perpetually frustrated because we never begin the healing process, nor are the perpetrators punished for murder. These heinous acts of violence are ever recurring and are on a constant loop in the media, including the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks and Deon Kay, and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Jacob Blake is a rapist. I can’t emphasize that enough and I will repost what he did to that woman each and every time these people attempt to turn the fact that he got shot into a tragedy.
People should be ashamed to even mention his name, never mind advocate for them. Anyone who attempts to turn a rapist into a victim should be named, shamed, and ostracized from civil society for the rest of their lives. Do not let them get away with being rape apologists.
They also said that the perpetrators who killed all those people are never punished for murder. Scoreboard:
Ahmaud Arbery – 3 men charged with murder
George Floyd – 4 cops charged with murder
Breonna Taylor – Wasn’t murdered, cops were shot at first, she laundered drug money from her apartment
Rayshard Brooks – 2 cops charged with murder for defending themselves from violent child sex offender who shot a taser at their face after assaulting them multiple times to avoid arrest for DUI
Deon Kay – Shot after committing a crime and running at cop with gun, had several videos of himself pointing unregistered handguns
Deon Kay was also into waving guns around and pointing them at people with no regard for anyone else's safety. Looks like he was in a gang.https://t.co/BpzcjF2qrN
— I support black landlords (@QuinnSagan) September 4, 2020
Anyone who defends rapists should be disqualified from teaching. Anyone so ignorant of basic facts that they don’t know that almost everyone who shot the people listed has been strung up by a BLM lynch mob should be disqualified from teaching.
As we start the new school year, we want more White people to be aware of how we, as educators of color, feel. Pay attention to the pain, fear, anger and trauma we shoulder.
Your feelings are meaningless. You live in the freest country in the world and you get taxpayer funded healthcare and a comfortable middle class feeling. You do not shoulder any pain, fear, anger, or trauma. You’re just looking to use your race victimize yourself for injustices that you never suffered from. You also do not speak for all black and brown educators.
Students of color, no matter how old, have these same feelings as well.
No they don’t. Students of color are not a monolith, it is racist to assume that they are, and if they do believe this then it’s up to the adults to tell them that these fears are unfounded.
Keep in mind that our students cannot escape the reality of disproportionate aggression and penal injustices as evidenced by the published images of the murders of people who look just like them at the hands of White people.
White people do not going around killing black people for fun. Most black people are killed by other black people, and the number of white people killed by black people far outnumbers black people killed by white people, despite white people being a much larger percentage of the population. Stop teaching black people to be victims and they won’t be.
One such immediate action is to acknowledge the existence of systemic and institutional racism, including how it is deeply embedded in the foundation of public education.
There is no such thing as systemic racism. If there is then it’s the fault of democrats since they control the systems where most people of color live. Systemic racism, if it were real, would be a racist like Monica Cannon-Grant rising to power because of the color of her skin.
Our curriculum, dress codes, behavior policies, teaching strategies, and family engagement policies are all rooted in White, Eurocentric ideals. Some schools and districts have begun to look at these policies and practices in an effort to make them more inclusive, but there is so much left to be done. Step outside of your comfort zone. Self-reflect, talk with your students, and resist remaining silently complicit when you witness members of your school community say or do unjust things.
The dress code is racist? They’re saying that black people are incapable of dressing appropriately because they all want to dress like extras in a 90’s hip hop video. This is a racist assumption.
Behavior policies? It’s pretty simple – respect the teacher and follow school rules. If your “culture” doesn’t value that then it’s not up to teachers to alter the rules for you. And once again, the fact that they assume black and brown kids can’t behave is also extremely racist.
We are especially responsible for teaching a more inclusive curriculum that acknowledges the contributions and greatness of Black and Brown people and how they have shaped this country. Despite the prominent limitations of our state curriculum, we know that Black and Brown people are more than the history of slavery, oppression or civil rights activism.
We already do that. But unfortunately due to the former existence of slavery and Jim Crow a lot of the major historical figures who happen to be black are centered around themes of slavery and civil rights.
The letter wasn’t signed by anyone in particular, but in this video Merrie Najimy introduces Northampton teacher Tom Chang as the ALANA representative at the 45:50 mark.
This is the spokesperson for the “members of color” in the MTA.
Long story short this white male doesn’t want schools to reopen because then he’d have to wake up earlier and COVID is a racist virus. Tom Chang is a white male who thinks it’s OK that black women like Jacob Blake’s victim get digitally raped, and when they do he will advocate for their rapist but not the victim, because he hates black women.
On ALANA’s Facebook page they also lecture teachers about how they can use their privilege, tell them to read “White Fragility,” protest the police, spread anti-cop propaganda about cops killing black children for no reason, urge racial discrimination to help black students, and advocate for the removal of cops from public schools despite two years ago bringing in a Springfield cop to talk about the importance of policing in schools (this was before cops were bad in June of 2020).
They do this because in education there is a culture where teachers are shamed and attacked for spreading out against it. When the MTA shared the letter on their Facebook one woman was attacked by a small mob, shamed, and identified as “part of the problem” for urging the union to focus on reopening schools.
It’s just so pathetic to watch these white people so desperately try to gain the approval of people of color.
I’ve had over a dozen teachers reach out to me with this email in disgust. The silent majority of teachers are disgusted with the actions of their union under the leadership of Merrie Najimy. Her racist actions continue to cause divide in the community, teaches students of color that they have no shot in life, and offers support for a man who digitally raped a black woman and said his fingers smelt like other men afterwards. She should resign immediately, or else we might have to protest her racism at the next MTA event.
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