In reaction to news that the Chicago board of education approved the closure of 50 schools, part of what Mayor Rahm Emanuel says is an effort to close a $1 billion budget shortfall in the city made prudent by school underutilization and lack of enrollment, pro-union operatives lashed out with two responses: it’s racist and it’s undemocratic.

Immediately following the decision Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers Union filed a lawsuit “on behalf of the parents” claiming the closures “single out African-American students.” CTU representative Brandon Johnson said:

What we find most disconcerting, is that black parents in particular, have overwhelmingly rejected the mayor’s plan. He has decided to draw a line in the sand and refused to negotiate with the parents.

Jesse Jackson, ever seeking the spotlight, views his exclusion from the decision-making as “undemocratic,” referring to the unelected board, saying at his usual Saturday meeting:

They’re closing schools without offering a place at the table for those with a real stake in the issue. So we have imposed upon us a process that is ultimately undemocratic.

Rahm isn’t backing down either, saying after the lawsuit (and another) were filed:

 I will absorb the political consequence so our children have a better future.

And CTU President Karen Lewis went subtly Sicilian against Emanuel:

Clearly, we have to change the political landscape in the city. We have to go back to old-style democracy.

“Old-style democracy?” I suppose she’s referring to the old-style of perhaps the old country? Where her union operatives can be turned out at a moment’s notice to instill fear in the residents, clog up city streets with weeks of protests, train her teachers at local Marxist conferences, and generally destroy not only the already pathetic education her teachers have been providing but also the economic prospects of those who pay her teacher’s salaries. “Old-style democracy” where when Lewis doesn’t her way, she moves heaven and earth to cloak pay raises in the guise of “air conditioning for students” and pensions that make your eyes bulge in the guise of “smaller classrooms.”

It is power, above all, that the Chicago Teachers Union operatives and Jesse Jackson fear losing to Rahm; the children are merely caught in the crossfire of two leftists factions’ internal war.