Friday, January 15, 2016

On MLK Day, time to talk about inequality in America and schools

Chicago State students march to save their school from closure
 "Inequality is inevitable; the vast inequality of America today isn’t." -- Paul Krugman in today's NYT
Krugman even tips his hat to Pres. Obama for raising the tax rate on top earners and pushing through his health care reform. Not only didn't the sky fall, as conservatives predicted, but over the past six years, we've had the best job growth since the 1990s.

But job growth is only a small part of the struggle for equality, especially when that growth is accompanied by flattening or shrinking real wages, union-busting, and the re-creation of a two-tier school system through privatization and charteriztion, and limited access to higher education.

Case in point -- the imminent closure of predominantly-black Chicago State Univ. as a result of Gov. Rauner's austerity program and his holding hostage the state education budget.

What Krugman doesn't mention is that Obama's job recovery has been far less beneficial to African-Americans whose unemployment rate is still high and has long been double the rate for whites.

Dr. King in Chicago in the '60s.
King Day -- I'm going to the Martin Luther King breakfast this morning. No, not the one the mayor is throwing in hopes of shoring up his dwindling support in the African-American community. That one is being boycotted. No photo-ops for Rahm with black leaders today, following the release of another video showing unarmed teen being gunned down by a Chicago cop.

I'll be at the one sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union with CTU Pres. Karen Lewis Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, a religious scholar and leader of protests in Ferguson, Mo. doing the keynoting.

Also today -- CPS students will embark on a “education equality” march from the Thompson Center in the Loop to Benito Juarez Community Academy in Pilsen. Along the route, students plan to march past CPS offices and the home of Chicago Board of Education President and retired Com-Ed CEO Frank Clark, calling on Rauner, state lawmakers and local pols to avoid deep budget cuts and layoffs at CPS schools this year.

Happy birthday, MLK.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.