An Actual 1950s Style Witch Hunt In Brooklyn

Some on the left have referred to the attempt to determine if Russia affected the election–or has its hooks into the Trump clan–as a ‘Red scare’ or even McCarthyism. Well, an ongoing investigation of a Brooklyn, NY high school principal helps put those terms into context (boldface mine):

It was early March when a representative from the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations sat down with Jill Bloomberg, the longtime principal of Park Slope Collegiate in Brooklyn, a combined middle and high school, to inform her that she was under investigation.

The representative told Ms. Bloomberg that she could not tell her the nature of any allegations, nor who had made them, but said that she would need to interview Ms. Bloomberg’s staff.

Then one of her assistant principals, who had met with an investigator, revealed to her exactly what the allegation was, one that seemed a throwback to another era: Communist organizing.

“I think I just said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is something O.S.I. investigates?’” Ms. Bloomberg said, using an abbreviation for the Office of Special Investigations. “I mean, what decade are we living in?

…According to a letter sent to Ms. Bloomberg’s lawyers from the general counsel for the Education Department, Ms. Bloomberg and two unnamed teachers at the school are accused of belonging to the Progressive Labor Party, a Communist organization. They are also accused of recruiting students and inviting them to participate in the party’s activities, including marches.

Ms. Bloomberg, 53, denies those allegations.

Yup. She’s supposedly a Commie Red. Of course, there might be another reason why she’s being investigated:

But after the initial shock, she said she realized she had been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time.

Over the years, Ms. Bloomberg has become one of the most outspoken and visible critics of New York City’s public schools, regularly castigating the Education Department’s leadership at forums and in the news media. Most of her criticism is aimed at actions that she says perpetuate a segregated and unequal educational system and that penalize black and Latino students. Through the years, she has helped organize protests and assemblies to push for integration and equal resources and treatment for her almost entirely black and Latino student body.

….in 2010, when she learned the education department wanted to open a new high school in her building to serve white middle- and upper-class families in the neighborhood who had shunned Park Slope Collegiate. City officials proposed creating a selective secondary school to be called Millennium Brooklyn High School as a sister school to the overwhelmingly white Millennium High School in Manhattan.

Ms. Bloomberg said she did not understand why the white parents in the neighborhood could not simply send their children to one of the existing high schools. She said she thought the district had an excellent opportunity to integrate this black and Latino high school with white students from Park Slope and neighborhoods nearby.

But department officials were adamant about creating the new high school, which would screen students for test scores and behavior. As an enticement, the department promised to fix up the dilapidated John Jay building if Millennium came in.

“That really did it,” Ms. Bloomberg said.

She had been begging, for years for money to fix up her school. “You mean there is money? They’ve been sitting on money or they can find money if it’s for white students?” Ms. Bloomberg recalled thinking. “This was too much. It was right in our faces. It became clear to the students: ‘You’re not good enough.’”

…But a fire had been lit. Over the years, Ms. Bloomberg supported her students in fighting the installation of metal detectors in their school, helped organize school assemblies to talk about police violence, and had spoken out passionately against segregation and what she considers racist Education Department policies.

Some teachers at Park Slope Collegiate disagreed with the assemblies and other protests that Ms. Bloomberg, who is extremely popular among her students and their parents — had supported and refused to participate…

Then in January, Ms. Bloomberg sent an email to department officials accusing them of discriminating against the predominantly black and Latino schools at John Jay by allotting Millennium twice as many sports teams as the other schools. Not long after that, the investigator visited her school.

Same as it ever was.

By the way, this is how McCarthyism actually works–it’s never targeted at white people who help the well-to-do.

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