Friday, October 9, 2015

Teachable Moments

A teachable moment occurred for a future young toiler by her grandmother as they were leaving a unionized grocery recently. A man was collecting signatures for an initiative to be placed on the upcoming ballot. He confronted the grandmother, asking her if she was registered to vote and if she would sign his petition. It was a perfect example of cognitive dissonance as the grandmother, a strong Democrat and pro-union advocate, stared at the petition before her and asked the man three times what he was collecting signatures for despite having it spelled out before her. Cognitive dissonance is when we’re confronted with conflicting information, attitudes or beliefs and the brain rebels at the new data. The man was collecting signatures to “decrease” the minimum wage. Her first response, forgetting her 8-year-old granddaughter was by her side was, “What the f*#k? Hell no, I won’t sign your petition, you ignorant a$$hole,” before grabbing the young girl’s hand to walk away. The granddaughter said, “Gaga, you were rude to that man.” Within earshot of the man, the grandmother explained to the child that the man wants to cut the wages of people like her own mother who works hard for the wages that provide for Maddie and her baby sister. In essence, the man was collecting signatures to make life harder for the 99 percent to live in this state, the people who work sometimes two and three jobs just to survive. In the time it takes for the words to sink, the child responded, “What an a$$hole.” Maddie now knows which side she is on and when she, in a few years, is a wage slave herself I hope she will explain to others what minimum wage is and fight against the inequality. The young are never too young to learn, and grandparents should never miss a chance to explain about unions, Social Security, minimum wage, universal healthcare and pensions for when the adults and parents do not teach their young about these issues, who will? If we leave the learning up to the child, the money-backed propaganda machine will and it won’t be to the best interest of the child. This information is not taught in schools, and when union membership is one-third GOP voters, it is obvious that someone missed the teachable moments with these members. Most union wage slaves do not realize just how close the unions in California, and the rest of the country to losing our unions at this time. We are just one vote away in the U.S. Supreme Court. This loss would be the death knell for unions and the Democratic Party, as well. The case is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The GOP asked all the lower courts to bypass judgment on the case and allow it to get to the U.S. Supreme Court for a decision. This will be a teachable moment for all if the one vote goes against the toilers. The teachable moment will be how apathy and ignorance can devastate the unions and all workers—just one vote away. Is it too late? Or will we get another chance to educate our toilers, and Maddie and her mother will not have to suffer the consequences of our failure to act.