Ralph Giljum, the University of Missouri labor professor who was summarily dismissed by his school after professional provocateur Andrew Breitbart smeared him in a doctored video, has been invited back. Public pressure got the University to change its mind. But the professor's union, while acknowledging that Giljum was victimized, is still not fighting back against Breitbart, or even mounting a vigorous defense. To the contrary, they forced Giljum to resign from the AFL-CIO to placate the Republicans of the Show-Me State.
While the Missouri AFL-CIO claims to be "incensed that we have scoundrels who go out and character-assassinate good people in our community" any further statement beyond denying that trade unions endorse violence would only "fan the flames" of anti-union sentiment, according to union official Herb Johnson. And despite his characterization of Giljum as“a great trade unionist” he was pressured to resign -- just days before he was due to retire anyway.
The union made haste, however, to issue a statement that it did not advocate violence, as Breitbart's hatchet job made it appear the teacher was doing.
The video, which is no longer available because it was posted without permission of the university, was so clumsily and choppily edited that it showed Giljum magically wearing different shirts during the same purported lecture. Despite the obvious hoax, University officials announced they would not be inviting him to teach next semester.
But then came the public blowback. The United Association of Labor Education led the charge with a petition and letter. University faculty and students launched an email campaign in Giljum's behalf, and the university quickly backed down.
UALE member Steven Ashby of the University of Illinois said, “It’s no coincidence this attack comes in the wake of the biggest workers’ upsurge in 30 years, in Wisconsin.”
And Breitbart has made it no secret that he is launching a fullscale attack against teachers and unions. It's all part of the corrupt Republican plan to demonize public sector workers, destroy collective bargaining and turn American education into a dumbed-down, for-profit enterprise for sale to the highest bidder.