I’m coming to hate the Republican Party more and more every day. They serve the corporations. Oh, I’m not saying Democrats don’t serve corporations as well. But Republicans have made it into a sick art.
Check out this story out of Michigan about the closing of the Catherine Ferguson Academy.
The Short Version:
In Michigan, conservative politicians have pushed through a law that changes the rules for when they can declare a state of ‘financial emergency.’ Now it is easier to declare and consequently easier to take over a municipality (I know, boring word, but it applies), toss out the elected officials and just do whatever those same politicians want to do.
Case in point- Benton Harbor, a mostly black town that has been declared in a state of financial emergency. There has long been a movement to take a private beach in Benton Harbor (a beach specifically left to the town by a couple almost 100 years ago, with specific instructions that the beach ALWAYS and ONLY be used as a public beach for the town), and make it part of a posh golf course development. This golf resort would likely be for people other than the ones actually living in Benton Harbor, whose average yearly income is about $10K.
Now that Benton Harbor has been declared to be in a state of financial emergency, the state government has put in a ‘financial manager’ to get the town back on it’s feet…and one of the first things he’s going to try to do is clear the way for this golf resort to be built. Convenient.
(Disclaimer here: Benton Harbor likely was doing poorly financially. My issue is how the rules are being changed so conveniently as to give the conservative politicians exactly the powers they need to do what they couldn’t get the votes or support to do already.)
What Does This Have To Do With Catherine Ferguson Academy?
This academy helps mothers and pregnant girls get a degree. It is highly successful- a far higher percentage of their students graduate in a year than in an average high school. State politicians tried to shut it down a year ago- and failed. The protests from the community were too strong. Now that this financial emergency has been declared and the person put in charge by the state can do whatever he wants- and he wants to shut the school down. Never mind that the community wants to keep the school, that they fought to keep the school or that the school has a phenomenal success rate for the girls who attend….
They’ve put the school on a list of schools to be shut down this spring.
Here’s where the outrage gets outragier:
The students and some faculty gathered at the school over the school’s spring break to make protest signs and stage a peaceful sit-in at the school. They were arrested. The cops arresting them even turned on the police sirens as they were stuffing the teen mothers into patrol cars- so that the voices of the protesters couldn’t be heard.
Some days, I just can’t believe what some of the asshats in our government are doing. Okay, most days…