WASHINGTON — American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday for closing Chicago schools, saying he was not “walking the walk” Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders would have wanted.
“Shame on you,” Weingarten said.
Weingarten, chief of a union with 1.5 million members, talked about Emanuel and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times in advance of her remarks at the Lincoln Memorial.
“I have a big message for both Mayor Emanuel and for Mayor Nutter, which is what my 11th-graders used to tell me when I taught at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn,” Weingarten said.
“They used to say, ‘Miss Weingarten, you can’t just talk the talk. You must walk the walk.’ Walking the walk means that you start investing in schools, not closing them, that you stabilize neighborhoods, not destabilize them.
“And that you make sure that every single child has a great public education in a great neighborhood public school. . . . Shame on you for actually not actually walking the walk that Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph would have wanted you to walk.”