Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Crime in Philadelphia

These are not my words.  These are the words of Mr. Johnson, who commented on the article Philadelphia School District announces its dissolution. I am sharing them here because the crime in Philadelphia continues to be ignored.  The children of Philadelphia continue to be ignored.  Share widely.

Mr. Johnson, thank you for this comment - the outrage you express is what I feel in my heart about the dismantling of public education everywhere. Our democracy is vanishing.

Mr. Johnson's comment:

Today they declared the end of public education in Philadelphia.

And with this crime, they have surely murdered the last hope for democracy.

First they defund the schools. Then they tell us they don't work. Then they privatize them. Pretty much the same pattern they've been using on every public service. Underfund them. Starve them. Claim they don't work. Buy them for profit. Where all our public services are going, and of what little remains of our our Commons.

The full realization of this theft... the report yesterday of the end of public education in Philadelphia (and don't fool yourself--that's exactly what it is!) has been hard to absorb... just how historically significant, --is almost impossible to comprehend. Made more difficult by the near indifference of the public.

Walking down a street in Center City I remembered my feelings, riding to the cemetery after my grandfather died, seeing people on the street--realizing we inhabited at that moment, different universes, different realities.

There are no words, no names adequate for the enormity of the crimes done to us--being done to us...impossible to fathom the consequences--though the mad scramble to build more prisons certainly suggests that there are those who have more than an intimation of what's in store.

A response anywhere close to proportionate to the outrage would have had 2 million people on the streets this morning storming City Hall, the banks, marching to Harrisburg with blood in their eyes... which explains the militarization of our municipal police, the riot tanks, the drones on the drawing boards, the new prisons... cause sooner or later it's going to come to that. The longer it takes, the worse it's going to be. And from what I see and hear, it's going to be worse than anyone can now imagine.