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What’s my name?

January 13, 2007 am31 8:00 am

Jonathan. But my last name? I don’t say. Not on this blog. I don’t claim, however, that this blog is anonymous. You could dig just a bit and figure out who I am (and some of my regular readers do know me) But I have made an effort not to put my name on this site. I write about my school (a little), and while nothing is bad or embarassing, I would still prefer that students not blunder in here, at least not through a one-off casual search.

On the other hand, I am an activist. I am my chapter leader (union steward), and I participate in all levels of union activity that are appropriate for that. Some chapter leaders do the minimum expected of them. Not me. (Others do more than me, but I really do take my responsibilities seriously). Beyond what would normally be expected, I have recently joined a caucus in my union, New Action – UFT, which despite the name gets me to more meetings and discussions (the action will come).

I am an active math teacher, and participate regularly in professional activities, through my union but also through my state professional association. I was even an executive board member for a few years. I have helped organize events, I have been a speaker, articles have appeared in professional journals with my name.

I have written on other websites, and in several cases those sites have used my name, and my blog name, and I haven’t bothered asking them to take it down.

I am out there, and it doesn’t take detective skills to link the name with the blog.

Even so, last week when I noticed that NYC Educator, a Queens high school English as a Second Language teacher/blogger who supports a different UFT caucus, had published my name in a short attack piece in late December, I was annoyed. The reason for the piece (he claimed I am running for Exec Board) was a lie. The point was simply to make insulting reference to me, and to put my full name into the blog.

(more below the fold) ——>

I wrote him and asked him to take my name down. It took a couple of e-mails back and forth for him to comply, and then when I noticed, my thank you apparently insulted him (I can’t figure out how), and so he put my name back up. And I think I am just leaving it alone.

The blogger is a union member, a teacher, and it would seem, a fairly decent one. I think all teachers deserve respect. His blog is lively and sometimes funny, and draws far more traffic than this blog probably ever will. But he is, it would seem, not an activist. He blogs. That’s it. No other union activity seems apparent. He blogs his union politics. And that part (and it is a big part) of what he writes is juvenile and often offensive. It would be easy to blame his caucus, he supports ICE, and I do blame ICE for the overall unpleasant tone that its supporters, including this guy, often use on-line. But it would be cheap and unfair to blame them for this one supporter deciding to publish my name.

Should I publish his name? No. As an activist, as a leader, I am judged by what I say and what I do. I must work hard, I must be effective. And I must be able to answer for my words and my actions. If I say something awful about Norman, or if I help defeat some of his allies, today, tomorrow, ten years from now I will be and should be held responsible to defend what I said or did, or explain why I made the error. To act in malice, there is no explanation good enough, there could be no defense. My anger is real, but it will not translate into petty revenge.

Should I expect, as an activist, to have  this sort of thing happen? And should I just ignore it? I assumed that bloggers usually didn’t publish other bloggers names. Was I wrong? What do you think about the whole thing? Is ICE somehow responsible? (I don’t think so, but I thought if I was throwing out questions, I should include that one)

(in another day or so I will chop his name out of the e-mail exchange, and post the whole mess)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2007 pm31 11:31 pm 11:31 pm

    I say blame it on ICE. And might as well throw in blame for global warming too.

  2. January 14, 2007 am31 12:05 am 12:05 am

    But that would be wrong.

    We could blame whoever started the false rumor that led to the attack post. Let’s see, NYC Ed is in front of the class, or in front of the PC. His material came from somewhere else.

    You? You asked me about it at the December DA. I told you we hadn’t discussed it. Did you start this rumor? If you didn’t, you must know who did.

    How about standing up, Norm, and discussing your part in spreading or starting this false rumor? Any sense of responsibility?

  3. January 16, 2007 am31 6:42 am 6:42 am

    I would say that NYC Educator is showing poor blogger etiquette if he is posting your full name in conjunction with a link back to your blog. If a blogger reserves and requests a degree of anonymity on his site, then other bloggers must respect that. Don’t leave it alone. It is simply disrespectful.

  4. January 16, 2007 am31 7:12 am 7:12 am

    The post doesn’t have a link, but references a previous linked post, so it’s not so direct as that.

    And we are well beyond disrespectful. You know my name? google it up with nyc ed. Read for yourself. I am annoyed that he ignored my request (well, he actually changed the post, then changed it back), but I regret that I am not shocked.

    Thank you, though, for the comment. I appreciate the support.



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