Douglas Andrews / August 16, 2022

A Racist Teachers Union in Minneapolis

In an outrageous act of discrimination, the union agreed to lay off its white teachers before its black and brown ones.

We’re not sure what’s worse — a teachers union whose membership is so nakedly racist as to favor one group over another based purely on skin color, or a teachers union whose membership is so stunningly stupid as to enact an employment measure that is laughably unlawful on its face.

Unfortunately for the students of Minneapolis, they’re being taught by both. As Minnesota-based Alpha News reports:

A Minneapolis teachers union contract stipulates that white teachers will be laid off or reassigned before “educators of color” in the event Minneapolis Public Schools needs to reduce staff. After the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and MPS struck a deal on March 25 to end a 14-day teacher strike, the two sides drew up and ratified a new collective bargaining agreement complete with various proposals. One of the proposals dealt with “educators of color protections.” The agreement states that if a non-white teacher is subject to excess, MPS must excess a white teacher with the “next least” seniority.

The offensive language of the agreement reads as follows: “Starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population.”

It doesn’t take a particularly keen legal mind to grasp the unconstitutionality of such a measure. “This violates a well-known Supreme Court decision overturning the race-based layoff of a white teacher,” writes Hans Bader, an attorney who practices constitutional law. It “contradicts a well-known federal appeals court decision, which ruled that race-based layoffs of white teachers violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”

“Will be struck down by a court if someone sues,” tweeted Wesley Yang. “The consensus within progressive domains on behalf of blatant illegality is so strong that no one dares oppose it. All that DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion] training was intended to condition people to accept such practices. It worked.”

Other than that, it seems just peachy. The question is, Why would the teachers union do something so stupid? Why would it subject itself to such an open-and-shut lawsuit from its aggrieved members? And the answer, according to the agreement, is to solve for “past discrimination” by the district, which “disproportionately impacted the hiring of underrepresented teachers in the district … and resulted in a lack of diversity of teachers.”

According to a June Minneapolis Star Tribune report, about 60% of Minneapolis students are non-white compared to 16% of the district’s tenured teachers and 27% of its probationary teachers.

And so, the district thinks two wrongs will make everything right. This is the racially discriminatory essence of affirmative action. “Whenever you hear progressives … gassing on about the importance of ‘equity,’” writes political analyst Rod Dreher, “what they really mean is ‘firing white people first, hiring white people last.’”

What’s interesting here, though, is that 50 teachers of color will be losing their positions this fall due to cuts tied to enrollment losses. And yet, as we noted above, this new bit of discriminatory do-goodism won’t be applicable until the spring of 2023. So the white-guilted virtue-signalers on the school board who voted for the measure can feel good about themselves without having the prospect of looming termination hanging over their heads.

Pretty convenient, no? And pretty racist, yes?

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