“A System Cannot Fail Those Who It Was Never Designed to Protect.” — W.E.B. Dubois
BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE | NOVEMBER 25, 2014
The outcome of the so-called grand jury in the case of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the killer of 18-year-old Mike Brown, should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It certainly wasn’t a surprise to those living in Ferguson, who already knew that the fix was in.
From the beginning, it was clear that none of the local or state officials, from Governor Jay Nixon to County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to Mayor James Knowles and Chief Thomas Jackson, wanted to see Wilson face a trial in the August 9 shooting. They would have preferred to see those residents who were angry over Brown’s death quietly and forcefully swept off the streets. Indeed, that was the original plan — to drive the African American community off the streets and back into their homes through the use of their armed enforcers of “law and order.”
From the moment that Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson told public school teachers gathered at Cobo Hall last Sunday that he and his fellow officials would not fight for a better deal if the tentative contract they presented at the meeting was rejected, the DFT ceased to exist as a labor union.
In its place is a collection of well-dressed and well-paid enforcers of the demands of “Emergency Manager” Robert Bobb and the corporatist Board of Education.
The 7,000 educators who looked to the DFT officials to represent them in contract negotiations at this critical moment are now left more or less disorganized, facing off against not just the school board, but local, state and federal officials, including Barack Obama’s White House. And now the DFT stands against them too.