The very good Alternet article provides (<http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/why-deray-mckessons-plan-baltimores-schools-looks-it-comes-right-out-teach>) a host of specific issues about McKesson – VERY MUCH worth the read!!! Also see my “comments” re: such strategies as Town Halls to wrest accountability and exposure of the likes of McKesson.
Some thoughts on the Mayoral Candidacy Of Deray Mckesson:
McKesson must be KEPT ON NOTICE that his mayoral run is but a step in the march to justice and lieration in Balitmore. McKesson (and all other candidates) -need to hear every day that if his campaign is a trojan horse that will come to light SOONER-than-later. All politicos must get unremitting street and organizational input and direction EVERY DAY — moving to elections AND EVERY DAY there after – that there are folks who are going to engage in the HARD WORK of CONSTANT organizational, infrastructural PARTICIPATION in EVERY move and policy the city administration attempts to make.
The BLM, Et Al, in Baltimore can provide the lead in an early step to getting accountability from candidates, such as sponsoring Candidate Town Halls at which all candidates will be GRILLED as to their CONCRETE visions and plans for mediating / decreasing / bringing to screeching halts – the ills plaguing Baltimoreans: ending the criminalization of babies in schools; moving to providing anti-racist, human-rights–based EDUCATION to children; immediate advocacy for parole, pardon / clemency of non-violent drug incarcerees; economic development; police policies and practices, and training, etc. — that have the greatest potential of achieving decreased police racism, continuing the message that criminal cops will be prosecuted; ETC., ETC., ETC. ………………………………………………
The <……alternet-DOT-org/news-amp-politics/why-deray-mckessons-plan-baltimores-schools-looks-it-comes-right-out-teach> article is a must read especially for Baltimoreans
Token “leaders” / electoral candidates WILL BE EXPOSED for what they are. ……………………………….
Town Halls (and social media) would be a most efficient and democratic method to dissect candidates’ backgrounds, motives, future policies, etc. McKesson claiming that his (BLM) travels were funded by unnamed “family and friends” will be exposed as the bunk that tit is at candidate town halls. Town Halls and social media will further expose such unacceptable postures as refusals to discuss subjects like campaign personnel or outside donors. “No comments” to questions like whether he was harvesting emails gathered by Campaign Zero to promote his mayoral campaign – are VERY troubling. …………………………………..
Insights such as those from Baltimore activist Duane Davis’s tweet addressd toMcKesson, that “[W]e crossed paths. On more than one occasion….you never engaged in conversation. [Y]ou were more focused on media attention”; founder of the organization that initiated the protests in Ferguson,Taureen Russell’s, withering assessment; …… – are VERY cautionary.
McKesson’s (and Brittany Packnett ‘s) neo-liberal TFA–school-privatization roots are VERY TROUBLING. If McKesson is unwilling to acknowledge and renounce the DISASTROUS INJURIES from primary school privatization and its leading charlatans like Michelle Rhey, that will be very telling. McKesson’s reputed designation as a “ruthless administrator,” for whom firing teachers was always in the best interests of children,’ will be easily documented from those who have worked with him!!! – and again, is very troubling.
It is such venues as Town Halls and social media where McKesson must be publicly tasked to renounce TFA’s low-keyed mission to train a corps of individuals to be political operatives in order to direct public education policy toward privatization, and the further skeletonizing of public education, along with TFA’s shell company, Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). These are the deleterious tropes through which every level of government around the u.s. has been infiltrated. McKesson has refused to discuss TFA and such details in media interviews.
It is such forums as Town Halls and social media where Mckesson has to DEFEND a campaign pledge to “… repurpose closed schools” – IN CONTEXTS of reasonable class sizes (15 to 20 students per class), full complements of physical and arts education curricula, etc.’ There must be EXPLICIT rejection of “repurposing” as meaning the disastrous mass closings and classroom super overcrowding that Rahm Emanuel, TFA protégées, Rethuglican governors, et. al. — have visited upon Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit, and so many other cities. Candidates MUST articulate plans and implementation strategies that are centered in community-based approaches to education reform.
McKesson’s responses to the Alternet interviewer on this CRITICAL issue have been MOST UNSATISFACTORY!!!!
Nice-sounding proposals to create “an online hub of academic enrichment” programs and to “collaborate with local technology entrepreneurs and innovators to launch computer and coding opportunities” – while necessary and important — but IN THE ABSENCE OF community and parental control / COLLABORATIONS, and consciously—implemented anti-racist, explicit human rights curricula — WILL NOT DO. Replacing good instruction and expert teachers with technology has no support in the research literature.
The only documented benefits of such schemes as Common Core and high-stakes tests have been technology and software companies and test-making corporations. Any benefits to students are nebulous at best.
Political candidates and activists who claim commitment to Justice-Liberation agendas have decades-long models of Community-control, Parent-led Justice-Liberation organized Education Fightback Reform in such organizations as NY’s Coalition for Public Education and Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence (BNYEE) and National Black Education Agenda (NBEA), among other groups like those in Chicago where parents went on hunger strike to retain their high school.
A public commitment from Mckesson to support maintaining Baltimore’s unionized teaching force and operation UNDER substantial oversight from the city school district – might be an indicator that he MAY be on true Justice-Liberation path.
The lack of transparency in the DeRay For Mayor campaign is UNACCEPTABLE. It is likely that funding of this campaign includes many of the same financial interests that have waged assaults on public school teachers and students across the country. This does not translate into a city administration that sees The People of Baltimore as peers, as equal partners – INDEED determiners of THEIR CITY.
Campaign Zero’s relationships with tech giants and hosting a presidential forum on racial justice with Twitter – cannot be allowed to be tools of manipulation and control.
Candidate Town Halls WILL be where the rubber meets the road – where some 300,000 Twitter followers, that are interspersed with commercial-style promotions of corporations like McDonald’s and Spotify will be turned into REALITY for Baltimoreans!
It would be very informative to get a reading of McKesson from leaders from the Baltimore-based ‘Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle’ (<….bsbaltimore-DOT-com/tag/black-lives-matter/>, and from like the ‘Dream Defenders’s’ Phillip Agnew (Florida-based).
That McKesson and other BLM personalities emerged and front-and-centered themselves is not the problem. That some of these people are neo-liberal trojan horses is the ever-present efforts to turn back and divert Liberation-Justice movements. We know these tactics.
Such phenomena can be thwarted and countermanded. Folks CAN STOP opportunists in their tracks. To be legitimate said opportunists must acknowledge and renounce any neo-liberal motivations and DEMONSTRATE willingness and ability to WORK WITH original grassroots, indigenous activists and true liberation-justice progressives.
This commentary was submitted to the web site of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle’