Glad I Can Read & Write...and Studied History

The future of our children is threatened by the rich, as higher education may become a domain of only those who can afford it...

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: November 24, 2014

Glad I Can Read & Write...and Studied History

The frustration & disgust so many people feel about politicians and politics lately is tantamount to conditions that existed centuries ago just before the fall of the Roman Empire, the French Monarchy, the Russian Czar, and most recently the dictatorships of Ferdinand Marcos of the Phillipines, Idi Amin, Moammar Khaddafi,and Saddam Hussien...

..the Gente just got plain fed up & tired of the corrupt bullshit the rich criminals known as government, politicians & "leaders" of commerce pull on them, living large off tax & interest dollars earned by the working class, while leaving the working class to live on the bottom rungs of the political & financial food chain, and leaving their under-educated children an unsure future if they aren't part of "the clique"... so the powers that be thankfully became the powers that were, despite having military & police states.

I hope I ain't around when when the 2nd American Revolution comes, but I still vote, remain an NRA member, pack a piece, and believe in the 2nd Amendment of the U.S.Constitution should the shit hit the fan before they close the lid on me. As an educated Chicano and Veteran of 2 branches of the U.S. Military, I deserve that, and stand upon my earned right to be here!

In my lifetime, I have seen and experienced the inequalities, unfairness, violence & civil unrest endured by Chicanos, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, Asians, and Blacks while seeking civil rights, civil equality, and access to higher education and a taste of the American dream and the good life...and also witnessed members of the aforementioned groups make great strides in politics, business, military & law enforcement, and the sports & entertainment fields because of their pursuit of education and expression off their arts.

In my lifetime, I have personally seen the disgust & envy, and personally heard the derogatory and hateful behind-the-back remarks from white people and other closet racists in response to an educated black man named Tom Bradley, who became an attorney, and one of L.A.'s first Black policemen, then became L.A.'s first Black and longest-tenured Mayor. Then, I saw & heard it again as educated Latinas like Gloria Molina, Loretta Sanchez, and Sonia Sotomayor stepped into the public political arenas & survived, while an educated black man from Chicago, who attended Harvard Law School and became an attorney, then was elected President of the United States, not once, but twice!

Despite the stereotypes & racial jokes, Caucasian people & politicians remain the largest group of public assistance recipients.

I have often pissed off or annoyed white men, even in the military, when I was able to stand and debate them on numerous subjects on equal terms, and win, thanks to my education, with learned abilities to abstract & reason. Sometimes...their allusion to my race was their only perceived consolation...and I either made an enemy or friend for life.

I've often been questioned during my professional career, much to my private chagrin, when I have submitted written reports of substance, and people look at my dark skin & tattoos, and ask, "Who helped you with this?" (When I had long hair & a ponytail, I would sometimes be asked, "What tribe you from? Did you go to school on a reservation?") as if a Chicano was incapable of intelligence & writing beyond misspelled grafitti...

Thanks to the G.I. Bill after Viet Nam, and inspiration from educated Chicanos like Ruben Salazar, Frank Del Olmo, Gloria Molina, Sal Castro, Rudy Acu??a, Armando Morales, Cesar Chavez, Roberto Cintilli, Dolores Huerta, and Corky Gonzalez ... Chicanos & Chicanas who sought education, promoted education, and used their education to challenge and question what's right, wrong, and fair in our Country, and step into the political rings at one level or another, I have managed to carve out a living and niche for myself, however significant it may be, thanks to my pursuit of education...something my less educated parents encouraged and pushed upon me, my brothers & sisters.

And thanks to educated Carnales like El Editor Abelardo de la Pe??a Jr. and Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, I don't stand alone in promoting education, political awareness, the study of history for the sake of learning, and the continued questioning of what's right, wrong, and fair in this great Country of matter WHO we may piss off!

My point here is education plays an important part in the survival of a people! Our kids need it to survive in today's & tomorrow's World after we're gone!

Shit!.... Look how just a little knowledge of gun powder, military organization, and politics helped Europe conquer all of North, Central, and South America just 500 years ago!!

As popular Chicano Radio DJ SANCHO used to say years ago: "No school...No class!".

Myself and all the aforementioned Gente are getting older or are gone... let's make this simple... and then start some shit for the sake of our children:

~ Throughout history, ruling classes have maintained their wealth and kept the larger middle & lower classes under control by denying them access to higher education, thereby preventing them from learning, fully comprehending, and being involved in the process & manipulation of politics, government, finance, business, and law...only their children were allowed access to Universities, and the ruling classes & rich businesses only recognized colleagues & cronies from the educated class, thus maintaining generations of rich people who took umbrage to competition & equality.

~ Native Americans, free black slaves, early Mexican Americans and Asian Americans sometimes put their lives in mortal danger when seeking higher education at the turn of the 20th century, as they were seen as not worthy to compete on equal terms with White Americans, and therefore not deserving access to the growing wealth of the Country....a sad part of Americana.

~ In just the last 100 years, minorities have made strides & accomplishments in American society by BECOMING educated, with programs like Affirmative Action, student grants, the G.I. Bill, etc., thereby leveling & equalizing the playing field, plus the influx of rich foreign students who chose to stay in the U.S. and establish successful businesses, thus getting a foot in the door in the American public political feeding trough previously denied us.

~ Over the years, these programs have been diminished and minimized by those most threatened by them, slowly making higher education less accessible to the working class, resulting in the high/comfortable pay & standard of living enjoyed only by the educated class further out of reach of OUR children, returning us to previous standards, with the rich in charge of everything & everybody.

(also referred to by White Republicans as "the status quo")

~ Basically: the less education, the less pay & respect~> and the rich live better !

~Now, the University systems are raising tuition again, thus putting higher education (and a more educated generation of people of color who will have a say in the ruling of the world in the future) out of our children's hands, and back in the hands of the children of the rich .

~ my question is: WTF are the Universities doing with the hundreds of millions of dollars they already get in tuition, the millions in financial gifts from rich corporations, the millions in TV sports & business royalties, that they're crying "broke" and have to screw students without a kiss again?

NOBODY sits atop a multi~billion dollar enterprise with world wide business, scientific, and political connections for FREE!! How much are these "Chancellors" getting paid, and how does one get a job as one?

Who is collecting the millions of dollars in interest every year from student loans, some over 15 years old?

How come only children of members of Congress get their student loans "forgiven" after graduation?


About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is a regular contributor to this web magazine and is easily found on Facebook, heard regularly on Internet Radio station
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