A clip from National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle's recent speech at the NEARA Conference and Rally in Florida is going viral for Pringle's theatrical, over-the-top performance. You can watch the full speech here, but the clip that's going viral starts around the 27-minute mark.
Watching this video reminds us that once upon a time, in 2009, the NEA recommended that teachers read Saul Alinsky’s books, and even called him, “an inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community! And to every organizer!”
For some reason, the NEA subsequently removed this page from its website, however it can still be found on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
The NEA also praised union organizer Paul Booth for his ties to Alinsky.
A letter on the NEA's website at the time said that, “Paul was a contemporary and protege of Saul Alinsky, with whom he worked to fight for social, economic and environmental justice for urban communities.”
Another former NEA leader, John Lloyd, said this of Alinsky in 1985:
“To understand the NEA — to understand the union — read Saul Alinsky... If you read Rules for Radicals, you will understand the NEA more profoundly than reading anything else. Because the whole organization was modeled on that kind of behavior which was really begun when the NEA used Saul Alinsky as a consultant to train their own staff.”
The NEA got training from Alinsky?
Alinksy said, “People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people.”
Here are his rules for radicals, as described in the NEA's article:
As a reminder, the NEA spends $2 on politics for every $1 it spends on representing its own members based on the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Only 9% of the union’s spending was dedicated to “representational activities” that directly assisted members.