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Back to Aug. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 139 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS AUGUST 1997
NEA Declares War on the 'Radical Right'

The NEA convention adopted New Business Item 18, which requires the NEA to "survey all state and local affiliates requesting information they may have concerning the funding of radical [right] groups by various corporate and family foundations . . . and disseminate a list of such organizations for information and possible boycott." The word "right" was deleted during the floor debate, but there is no doubt about the purpose of this directive.

Its stated rationale was that "corporate and foundation funding has been key to the success of the radical right." In response to a delegate who asked for a definition of the term "radical," the chair responded, "Radicals are those who are historically operating in our community to destroy our school system and turn it over to individuals."

At a workshop on the "Radical Right" held during the convention, a packet of materials was distributed giving detailed information on 30 conservative, pro-family organizations which the NEA labeled "radical right." This packet also confirmed the close working relationship for this strategy between the NEA and People for the American Way.

Unnecessary Apology?

A choir of young black singers sang four songs as part of the convention's Fourth of July celebration, two secular and two religious, one of which was "What a Mighty God We Serve." The choir's outstanding performance received a thunderous standing ovation. The next day, NEA President Bob Chase apologized from the platform for the two religious songs and stated emphatically that they had not been cleared by the NEA.


 
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