Randi Weingarten: “American Jews are now part of the ownership class [who] …. now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.” Unsurprisingly, she also has a longstanding association with activists Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and who is Jewish, faced accusations exploiting anti-Jewish sentiment when an interview she had given to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency emerged.
“American Jews are now part of the ownership class. What I hear when I hear that question is that those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.”
On April 7th, Fox News reported,
The controversy came in response to an interview published in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week, in which Weingarten was quoted as describing “American Jews” as “now part of the ownership class” in response to a question about Jewish critics of the teachers’ union’s power and influence amid a coronavirus school reopening fight.
“Jews were immigrants from somewhere else, and they needed the right to have public education,” she said. “And they needed power to have enough income and wealth for their families that they could put their kids through college and their kids could do better than they have done. Both economic opportunity through the labor movement and an educational opportunity through public education were key for Jews to go from the working class to the ownership class.”
She continued, “What I hear when I hear that question is that those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.”
Weingarten’s comments sparked outrage, with some also criticizing JTA for seemingly excusing Weingarten’s remarks by mentioning the fact that she and her longtime partner are Jewish.
Weingarten’s rhetoric immediately reminded me of Karl Marx’s anti-Semitic diatribe, “On the Jewish Question,” where the infamous crackpot argued that the “secret” of the Jew is to accumulate wealth for “practical need,” “self-interest,” and “huckstering.”
Weingarten combines two contemporary progressive doctrines, class and race struggle, to level her smear. There is not a single person who has even a mild acquaintance with American Jewry that would believe they are trying to take away “the ladder of opportunity” from others.
…It’s one thing to regurgitate Marx’s theories on Jews, but unbelievably, she tries to create the impression that her ancient smear is actually a “Jewish value” itself.
Here, JTA gives Weingarten, who is Jewish, cover:
Weingarten, 63, knows to whom she speaks. She’s been married since 2018 to Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a Manhattan synagogue serving the LGBTQ community, and grounds her advocacy in Jewish values.
“American Jews are now part of the ownership class,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. They "want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it." Disgusting and dangerous. https://t.co/f6SMQ9AvHA
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) April 7, 2021
“That she (Weingarten) has added targeting Jews for abuse to that indictment is merely the icing on the cake. As long as people like Randi Weingarten have public education by the throat, America’s children are in danger.” @jonathans_tobin https://t.co/cOzfHCKguJ
— Mark Jacobs (@mr_markjacobs) April 9, 2021
Asked why teachers are still not going back to school, president of the teachers union Randi Weingarten blamed Jews, calling them part of “the ownership class [who] want to take that ladder of opportunity away.” Just blatant anti-Semitism on full display.https://t.co/XZAAa4Xlr1 pic.twitter.com/TT7fYkDd9W
— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) April 7, 2021
Readers of Legal Insurrection will be familiar with this kind of identity-based, neo-Marxist justification for anti-Jewish sentiments; one need look no further than the so-called “Jewish” group Jewish Voice for Peace—which we’ve covered here more times than we can count—for clear evidence that a person’s own Jewishness does not necessarily preclude her from harboring and spreading anti-Semitic ideas. Nor is it particularly rare for Jewish far leftists and anti-Zionists to dismiss their own use of anti-Semitic stereotypes as an expression of a courageous quest for “social justice”, “equity” or “tikkun olam“—Hebrew for “repairing the world”.Weingarten appears to be no exception to this rule. In fact, she has previously shown support for virulent (non-Jewish) anti-Israel activists, justifying her association with them by referring to them as “warriors for justice”. In 2018, she posted a photo of herself and her wife standing alongside Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory—both of whom had just been exposed for the naked anti-Semitism with which they treated Jewish former colleagues at the Women’s March.
And, as Michael Watson of the Capital Research Center found in 2018,
According to the [American Federation of Teachers] AFT’s 2018 federal annual report (known as an LM-2), the AFT paid Women’s March, Inc. a “contribution, gift, [or] grant” of $25,000 for “event sponsorship.”
For good measure, the AFT’s financial association with Mallory goes back before the founding of the Women’s March after the election of President Donald Trump. From 2009 through 2013, Mallory was executive director of the non-profit wing of controversial MSNBC commentator Al Sharpton’s Left-wing advocacy machine, the National Action Network (NAN). From 2009 to 2013, AFT (and its New York City local, the United Federation of Teachers) chipped in $673,000 to NAN.
Judging by Weingarten’s behavior, her position at the helm of an enormous teacher’s union will likely bring more Marxist (which, as the California Ethnic Studies Curriculum debacle shows, often means anti-Jewish) programming—including the controversial Critical (Race) Theory—to our nation’s schools.
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