OK, so Chance the Rapper, America’s most lovable hip-hop artist, has yet to show up to a Chicago teachers picket line and rap about class sizes and librarians. (No shade to Chance: no musicians have taken up the mantle.)
But last weekend, when he hosted Saturday Night Live, he did take the opportunity to shout out teachers in Chicago, who have now been on strike for 11 days.
“To the teachers in Chicago," he said, clad in a red Chicago Teachers Union sweatshirt, “I know you guys are on strike right now. I fully support you.”
And later, as the credits rolled, several cast members showed up in Chicago Teachers Union T-shirts.
Chance’s shout-out is a sign of the times: It seems that more Americans see themselves reflected in the labor struggles that have gripped the country. Instead of taking the viewpoint that teachers are asking for too much — a claim that people had no problem making less than a decade ago, observers are saying, “Keep at it."
In Philadelphia, dozens made the trek out to Langhorne, where General Motors warehouse workers were on strike for six weeks. “Their win is our win," said Matt Hancock, who came out to a “Solidarity Sunday” community potluck meal this month.
And when WHYY workers announced their bid to unionize earlier this month, listeners tweeted their support and called to say they would increase their monthly contribution if WHYY recognized the union. Some said they canceled their membership and encouraged others to do the same.