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News & Politics News & Politics

Wis. Teacher Refuses Award From Paul Ryan During MLK Ceremony: ‘Lackey for the 1%’

Posted by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 7:41 AM
  • 10 Replies
Wisconsin Teacher Al Levie Refuses Award From Rep. Paul Ryan During MLK Ceremony


High school social studies teacher Al Levie refused to accept an award from Rep. Paul Ryan during a ceremony last week. (Image source: YouTube)

A Wisconsin teacher refused to accept an award from Rep. Paul Ryan during a ceremony last week, saying he couldn’t do so “in good conscience” because of the Republican congressman’s politics.

Al Levie, a high school social studies teacher in Racine, Wis., was one of three recipients of a Martin Luther King Jr. humanitarian award during a celebration honoring the late civil rights leader. Ryan, who represents the district, was on hand to present congressional recognitions to each award winner, the Kenosha News reported:

After Ryan spoke, Levie criticized the congressman’s policies before being walked off the stage. Levie had earlier stated that he would like to see collective bargaining restored in Wisconsin, fair immigration reform and a fair tax system among other suggestions.

In a video of the ceremony, Ryan is seen stepping from behind the podium to hand the award to Levie, who backs away and instead turns to speak to the audience. His words aren’t audible, but according to the video’s captions he said, “I can’t in good conscience accept this award, as a humanitarian, Paul Ryan stands for everything I don’t believe in.”

“Oh come on,” one person is heard saying.

“For the kids!” someone else adds.

The video was posted by Wisconsin Jobs Now, a coalition of community groups from across the state that advocates for “the 99 percent.” Levie appeared on the video afterward to explain his protest.

“I would not accept the award from Paul Ryan because Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent,” he said. “Paul Ryan had no business at a Martin Luther King event, it’s totally hypocritical. On the one hand he votes to slash health care, while on the other hand, King dedicated his life and he died for it, for people to have adequate healthcare, to have adequate jobs.”

“King made it very clear that he was on the side of working people,” he continued. “Ryan on the other hand, he has absolutely no affinity for the working class and for him to come to an event where somebody of King’s stature was honored is wrong.”

According to the Racine Journal Times, Levie serves with Voces de la Frontera, an advocacy group for immigrant and low wage worker rights, and is part of the local NAACP. He’s also a teacher and program director for the Wisconsin Correctional Service.

(h/t Gateway Pundit)

by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 7:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 7:58 AM
1 mom liked this

Wisconsin is a blue state that is a right to work state.

Union membership has decreased dramatically - and voluntarily - by 50%.

Sounds like this teacher is the one who supports the 1%, over the 99% that are happy to keep more of their money and not have a union financially support candidates they don't agree with. 

What do you expect?

PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this

Good on this teacher.  I wouldn't want that award after he touched it either.  

AdrianneHill
by Bronze Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM
Wow. But definitely ballsy. I guess he decided to make that big stand that will likely ruin his life as it is now instead of staying home and pulling a Marlon Brando or something.
Hope it turns out to be worth it
JanuaryBaby06
by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Very Ballsy! I wouldn't have appreciated getting a humanitarian award from Paul Ryan either but I would have then just thrown it out before I got home. I hope he doesn't get too much heat for this. Sounds like he has done alot of great  things for alot of people :D

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 5:34 PM
1 mom liked this
The teacher is an ideologue moron, who is very uninformed.

Not shocked, most teachers are.

blueforewolf
by on Dec. 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

good for him!  I won't want it from that asshole either

grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 6:16 PM
1 mom liked this

 There's always one in every crowd.  SMH

PinkButterfly66
by Bronze Member on Dec. 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

A man with a conscience. I don't like Ryan's politics either.

Lilfootmommy
by on Dec. 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM
I wouldnt have accepted that award from him either, I wouldnt accept it from mitt romney, gwb, john mccain or sarah palin either. Good for him
Lilfootmommy
by on Dec. 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM
And you know most teacher how?

Quoting Billiejeens: The teacher is an ideologue moron, who is very uninformed.



Not shocked, most teachers are.



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