Several bloggers who seek to improve what public education is all about are under attack by those who demand “loyalty” to a leader who is weakly going in the wrong direction.
Specifically, Fred Klonsky and others have pointed out the errors of Illinois Education Association President Cinda Klickna. Fred’s detractors have been highly vocal and are accusing him and other bloggers of “disloyalty to the union,” sedition, treason, perfidy, and heresy. Burning at the stake seems to be the only way Fred should be dealt with. (Read Fred’s Loyalty blog HERE.) These “rah-rah” Fred bashers demand “loyalty” as defined by them – unquestioning and unanimous agreement no matter what.
Today, Chris Hedges wrote, “Criticisms, no matter how tepid, will be treated as acts of subversion.” His article (Read HERE.) deals with the syndrome. Fred and others are being treated by mincing, fawning sycophants who bash in the same manner described by Hedges. Fred needs no defenders, especially since he also deserves no bashers. The Fred bashers show their actual lack of belief in the elected representatives in the IEA who wish to improve IEA leadership communications. Fred, other reps and members see a need for updates and details regarding the pension theft and other anti-teacher legislative problems going on in Illinois today.
(Disclosure: I myself emailed and blogged on December 28th that Cinda and the IEA had last informed all members about the SB1 legal response which is challenging pension cuts on December 5, 2013. I linked the dated IEA site to my blog HERE. The extended IEA leadership silence served no one well.)
What about the Fred bashers? Being yes-men who wave the union flag of loyalty while refusing to accept the fact that something is wrong and needs to be fixed serve no cause well. Positivism at all costs and “rah-rah” rallying cries are the most negative and destructive behavior possible. Attacking those who point out problems and suggest solutions is duplicitous. Self-serving, duplicitous rah-rahs are either bullies or bully-wanna-be types. Now, stop it!
This reminds me of a situation I encountered during my 20 years as a supernumerary (an extra) at Lyric Opera of Chicago on one opening night backstage. Opening nights are attended by big-shots, politicians, donors, critics and even a few opera lovers with money for those extra-expensive Opening night tickets. On that night Carol Fox, the founder and director of the Lyric who was known for her toughness and might, was nervously standing alone just off-stage watching the last 15 minutes of the performance. She would join in with the bows of recognition at the curtain calls and then attend the gala ball afterward. I noticed that her gown had split at the seam under her arm down to just below the waist. Her very ample pale flesh and not-so-delicate undies were exposed as she raised her arm to blot away some perspiration on her brow with her hankie. As the lowest underling of the theater, I pointed this out to an assistant stage manager who pointed it out to another. They quaked in fear of approaching and telling Carol Fox, who was known for her quick temper, about her condition and told me they were not about to approach her with that bad news. I simply could not allow her to go out and wave at the audience as they laughed back at her. The media coverage the next day would not be about the opera, the performers or the production; it would be guffaws about the lady who was the driving force that created and maintained Lyric Opera.
I walked up politely and told her about her torn seam. She slapped at the bare spot, felt flesh and dropped her head in disgust. She slowly looked up at me and quietly said, “If you knew what this dress cost me, you wouldn’t believe it.” I then quickly suggested that she get Rose, the dresser for the prima donna, to fix it fast before the final curtain. She stage whispered, “If anyone can fix me up, it will be Rose.” She turned and strode away as quickly as I had ever seen her move.
Three strodes away, she unstrode and turned toward me. She looked straight at me, nodded and winked with no sign of any smile. That is called a Chicago thank-you for those of you who are unfamiliar with Chicago body language.
Now, that’s what supporters do and what leaders do. No sticky sweet flourish of thankfulness is expected.
The boot-licking “rah-rahs” who attack Fred for disloyalty would allow Cinda to walk around as naked as a jay-bird like the “Empress With No Clothes” rather than help her in reality.
Hey, you flunkies! Rah-rah THIS! (Imagine accompanying genuine Chicago hand/arm gestures.)
Knock it off. Stop with the Fred bashing. Stop with the mindless bashing of anyone who seeks to better the situation. No problem can be solved until it is recognized as a problem; at that point, solutions may be offered. Get real.
Join in for the cause and tell the Empress to stitch things up when and where needed.
SB1 must be dealt with, and transparency with members needs to be part of it.