Reading in the morning paper about what’s happening to the schools and community colleges in California made me feel a little sick: high school libraries closed because the librarians’ positions have been cut, kindergarten classes with 40 or more five-year-olds; and my beloved City College closing its doors to all but students committed to a vocational program or to transferring to a four-year college.
I know literally dozens of people who’ve taken classes at City College over the years simply to enrich their lives, me included. We’ve studied music, literature, art, history, learned computer skills, brushed up on a language. How sad that won’t be there for subsequent generations. How sad the children of today won’t be offered the high quality of public education that so many received before them.
And in other news, as they say on TV, as a follow-up to my earlier post about the Marikana miners in South Africa, the confrontation between the striking miners and the various forces arrayed against them seems to be coming to a head, with many thousands of angry miners defying a back-to-work order and marching with their families and supporters on the Lonmin platinum mine. Workers at other mines in the country are striking as well, there are calls for a national strike, and the miners’ struggle has now become a political hot potato for the government of President Jacob Zuma. For the latest, see Al Jazeera News. And here’s another link to an excellent background article by Mike Hana. Friends in South Africa are in my thoughts in this unstable time, as are the miners fighting for economic justice.
Justice is the long, crevice-filled road
I’ve been stranded on all this time,
trying to reach a destination that climbs
uneasy over the horizon.
–-from “Then Comes a Day,” by Luis J. Rodriguez
I take the news personally, near or far.