This is the text of a blog post I did on Bluestate Georgia.
A story ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning entitled Tough Times at Georgia Gwinnett College.
As a Georgian I saw nothing unusual about the story. The weak commitment to education of the Republican majority in Georgia is leading to devastating cuts in yet another institute of higher learning here.
What interested me was the comments below the article. One commenter blamed the cuts on “the underprivileged”. Another comment blamed it on immigrants.
Progressives in Georgia absolutely have to take an in-your-face approach to both the cuts themselves, and the bigotry which gets stirred up when the issue arises.
Education is how people advance, and the Democratic Party of Georgia and progressives here have got to fight and roll back the Libertarian nonsense which puts forth the notion that only those from families who are already affluent enough to afford it should be able to attend college.
College needs to be cheap and it needs to be high quality.
We need to be contacting our legislators, even those of us in conservative districts, and energetically advocating for not only maintaining the current levels of funding for education at all levels, but improving the system.
As for the xenophobic and racist comments often accompanying the sort of article at the link above — answer them directly. The article made no mention of undocumented immigrants, yet a couple of posters jumped in to blame Georgia’s crappy commitment to education on immigrants.
We need to start pushing back on this nonsense in a big scale way. I’m not saying we need to be shrill (in fact we shouldn’t be), or make pie-in-the-sky demands (we should learn the issues and figure out how each proposal gets funded). But if we don’t start fighting why are we even here?
If you are reading this, and you are a Georgia citizen, I ask you to do two things which will only take a few minutes. Go to the link above and leave a comment on the article. And go to the website of your state legislator and leave them a comment expressing concern (or outrage, take your pick) over the cuts to Georgia Gwinnett College.