Tuesday, March 2, 2010
DE FACTO SEGRAGATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: PRIVATE ED v. PUBLIC ED.
On March 4th 2010 there will be a cause of GLOBAL ACTION against the budget cuts within higher education in the public sector. Many of the proposed budget cuts that sadly seem inevitably unbreakable in some districts will directly impact those who are apart of the working class, and predominantly those who are of color. It is indeed a very sad day in America when our government literally seeks rationalize the act of theft against higher education. Essentially, by choosing to cut funding from higher ed our government is thus stealing from the minds of current students as well as those students who will be forthcoming. Intellectual theft is one of the harshest crimes against humanity. A person who is excluded from being able to think, learn, and interact intellectually, is a indeed of victim of a vicious system of forced incapacitation, greed, and the worst of all hatred known to man. This very same act can be reviewed by looking at the educational system in America prior to Brown v Board of Ed (1954). It was a systemic achievement to blockade young people of color from achieving their highest potential academically. Forcing them to be satisfied with a low quality education, while whites went on to private or higher leveled public institutions, which gave them preferential treatment over children of color. Sadly, this pattern of degradation that Brown v. Board of Ed (1954) clearly exhibited infected institutions of higher learning as well, and thus the existence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) started to proliferate around the nation. This gave off a clear indication that blacks were not willing to sit down and allow whites to tell them they cannot learn, however, disparities in funding between predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and HBCUs were instant and inevitable, this can still be seen today.
The fact is simple, there is a war going on against Public Higher Ed in America. There is no longer a need by politicians to invest money into the leaders/scholars of tomorrow. As a result, those who have more to lose oftentimes will be hit the hardest. Private institutions will continue to receive funding although they will indeed most likely remain the highest priced schools. However, when the price of a public institution is nearly as high as those that are private, that should be seen as a huge disservice to the public and especially to the working class people who work extremely hard to achieve academic and economic success. The only thing I can conclude from the budget cuts is that we are slowly but surely slipping back into de facto segregation similar to times reminiscent of Jim Crow and prior to. People of color who are underrepresented as it is with degrees will begin to drop out, as their need to work more to pay for competing bills will become more important than continuing on with their education. The lack of good dedicated professors will begin to diminish, since talks of eradicating tenure from out of public higher ed is also said to be on the table in several states. Parents will have to file for bankruptcy as a result of paying for their children’s education and threatened with the possibility of being induced into homelessness. All of this while banks flourish in profits and while private institutions continue on to receive private and public grants over public institutions due to the eventual inability for public schools to compete. Overwhelming class sizes and lack of one on one time with professors will also diminish the capacity of public institutions to produce quality programs and students. Again, this is all reminiscent to the educational system my ancestors had to endure, being black in America before Brown v Board (1954). The question must be asked to all people in this day and age; were their marches in vain? Were their giant efforts in ensuring equality for all nothing more than a contract that would end in 2010? On March 4th 2010, it is time for everyone to stand up and have your voice be included. Say no to the privatizing of essential university functions! Say no to those politicians where our words fall on death ears!! Say no to the banks that are looking at a lovely pay day as a result of higher tuition!! Say no to the military and prison industrialization complex. Above all, say no to de facto segregation in Higher Ed!! The revolution has been initiated by the other side, what says you?!