Indoctrinating, Not Educating, on the Taxpayers’ Dime
“Violence is a tactic, and it’s to be used when it’s the appropriate tactic.”
That’s a quote from a video published Monday that captures two University of Missouri–St. Louis professors, identified as Judy Ancel and David Giljam, teaching a publicly funded course about labor negotiations. In the video, both Ancel and Giljam seem to advocate in favor of violence, physical intimidation, and industrial sabotage as tactics to be used during labor negotiations.
It’s a stunning video that I encourage you to watch for yourself. If these tapes accurately reflect what’s being taught in those classes, UMSL and UMKC — the two universities teaching the course — have a lot explaining to do. It appears that, at least as far as UMSL is concerned, they’re taking the matter very seriously.
Obviously, the public should not be funding, or be forced to fund, classes that advocate violent and illegal behavior against its citizens. Such instruction is precisely the opposite of what a publicly financed education is about.
But the episode raises another, arguably more important, concern: Is the University of Missouri system really in control of its labor negotiations program, or are labor unions effectively running the show on the taxpayers’ dime?
It’s an open question that needs to be explored, because if unions are essentially writing and teaching the curriculum for these classes and, not only that, violence is being advocated, it’s an outrageous exploitation of regular Missourians.
Unfortunately, there’s reason to believe that some collaboration is going on between the universities and organized labor. For those unfamiliar with the it, the Labor Tribune is a Saint Louis–based newspaper that markets itself as the “OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE AFL-CIO” in the city.
With 110 subscribing unions, the Labor Tribune is the only AFL-CIO endorsed newspaper in the bi-state metropolitan region.
Key word: “VOICE.”
Long before the videos were released, the Tribune promoted the courses that have now been caught on tape as part of a story about UMSL’s Labor Studies Certificate Program. The Tribune’s piece described the certificate program as follows:
The Labor Studies Certificate Program gives current and future union leaders, representatives and activists the background and skills needed to deal with the changing workplace and economy.
With a grounding in history, political science, law and economics, students have the opportunity to develop skills of analysis, leadership and organizing that will provide an equal footing with counterparts in the corporate and political world.
Completion of the program results in 18 credit hours toward a degree and a Certificate in Labor Studies.
But was that a news piece, or a press release? The words used in the article are essentially a copy-paste job of the words the university itself uses to describe the program:
The Labor Studies Certificate Program gives current and future union leaders, representatives, and activists the background and skills needed to deal with the changing workplace and economy. With a grounding in history, political science, law, and economics, students have the opportunity to develop skills of analysis, leadership, and organizing that will provide an equal footing with counterparts in the corporate and political world. Completion of the program earns 18 credit hours toward a degree and a Certificate in Labor Studies.
So the AFL-CIO’s “official” newspaper publishes a press release for a program for union “activists,” neutrally describing a program that actually promotes violence and industrial sabotage against Missourians — during, of all things, a recession. Adding insult to not-so-metaphorical injury, the endeavor is supported by Missouri tax dollars.
That’s a big, big problem.
Taxpayers deserve to be adequately assured that their tax dollars are not only being spent wisely, but that those tax dollars won’t be used by special interests as a cudgel — figuratively and literally — against them. Taxpayer-funded education should not be an arm, or a “VOICE,” of special interests, but a neutral arbiter enriching dialogue, not impoverishing it.
Ancel may want to teach a class on irony, too. Note the headline.