Conservatives have a new public enemy: Al Levie, a Wisconsin teacher the right-wingers at The Gateway Pundit are calling a “hateful leftist” after Levie said last week he couldn’t “in good conscience” accept an award from “1% lackey” Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
According to Yahoo! News, Levie was given a Martin Luther King Jr. humanitarian award for his work with Voces de la Frontera, an advocacy group for immigrant and low wage worker rights, but refused to accept it due to Ryan’s support for cutting teachers’ collective bargaining rights and other anti-labor, pro-business initiatives the Republican congressman has helped spearhead.
“I can’t in good conscience accept this award, as a humanitarian, Paul Ryan stands for everything I don’t believe in,” he said during the ceremony. Later, Levie expanded on his opposition:
I would not accept the award from Paul Ryan because Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent. 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.
And Ryan, of course, does not stand for such fair access to basic rights. He stands for exclusionary politics that hurt America’s middle class, bolster business interests and exacerbate inequality. Oh, and he loves fine wine that costs more than most people spend on their monthly food budgets.
That of course matters not to his fans, though, because they would rather smear a hardworking teacher than stand up for the majority of Americans. Good thing we have someone like Al Levie, who vowed last week “to redouble my efforts in the struggle for social and economic justice.”