News Release

* Ten Commandments * Labor Day * Against School * Psychiatric Protests

Rev. GRAYLAN S. HAGLER
Senior pastor of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and national president of Ministers For Racial, Social and Economic Justice, Hagler said today: “The legal controversy around the Ten Commandments monument in Alabama highlights the misuse and abuse of religion in the United States. A monument of this kind is a radically conservative statement that hardly reflects the inclusion and tolerance that we seek to effect in this society…. Furthermore, as a preacher of the Gospel, I am astonished that there is so much passion around a monument, when in fact we ignore religiously what the monument expresses — ‘thou shall not kill,’ and yet as a nation we practice capital punishment and invade nations…”
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JARED BERNSTEIN or LAWRENCE MISHEL, (via Karen Conner]
Economic Policy Institute senior economist Bernstein and president Mishel, co-authors of the just-released report “Labor Market Left Behind,” said today: “Since the start of this recovery, unemployment has continued to trend upward, from 5.6 percent in November 2001 to 6.2 percent in July 2003…. [There are] three unemployed people for every job opening. During this recovery, unemployment has risen 0.6 percentage points overall and 1.3 points among African Americans…. Employment opportunities have declined more for college graduates than for high school dropouts. Underemployed workers — those working fewer hours than they want to or in a job for which they are overqualified — reached double digits (10.2 percent) in July 2003…. Current unemployment rates are actually lower than they would be, except for the fact that some 2 million workers have stopped looking for work in this poor market.”
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JOHN TAYLOR GATTO
Gatto is former New York State Teacher of the Year and author of the book The Underground History of American Education. He also wrote the cover story in the current issue of Harper’s Magazine, “Against School: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why.” Gatto said today: “School trains children to be employees and consumers…. School trains children to obey reflexively…. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned…. Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909: ‘We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons … to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform difficult manual tasks.'”
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DAVID GONZALEZ
Gonzalez is one of several people currently fasting in Pasadena, California, protesting the practices of the American Psychiatric Association. He said today: “We have repeatedly asked the Association for evidence to back up their claim that emotional disorders are biologically based, but they have not responded meaningfully. People are being coerced into taking drugs and having electric shock. I have both experienced and witnessed such abuses done under the guise of mental health.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167