By Kyle Olson
LOS ANGELES – We thought the term “queer” was derogatory in nature, an insult to gay Americans.
After all, according to Webster’s, the word means “differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal; eccentric, unconventional; mildly insane, touched.”
But in an ad seeking a “mobilization coordinator” [pdf] for its fall political efforts, the Los Angeles branch of the American Federation of Teachers notes that it’s an “affirmative action/equal opportunity employer” that encourages applications from “those who identify as women, working class, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.”
We really don’t understand why the union would use such a word. To us, it would be the same as advertising for racial minority candidates by using a racially derogatory term. Imagine if the Republican National Committee put out a job ad seeking “queers.” The media would come unglued. But somehow the teachers union gets away with this.
Oh well. This is California we’re talking about. Nobody from mainstream America should be expected to understand the culture in that state. Perhaps “queer” is a nice word to the cool people on the Left Coast.
The union job ad was also interesting due to the listed compensation. The right candidate can expect to be paid $3,000 per month (which has to be poverty level in Los Angeles) with no benefits. This from a union that’s supposed to stand for decent pay and benefits for all of the oppressed workers of our land.
Obviously the AFT talks the talk but is not willing to walk the walk, at least when its own labor budget is stretched too thin.