Don’t be BAMBOOZLED by the Budget
A University of Washington for the Elite and the Superwealthy?
Not On Our Backs!
Public Statement by Democracy Insurgent
March 4th 2010
We are in a period of recession, unemployment and warfare. The unemployment rates are close to 10%
nationally, as well as within Washington state. Yet what has been obscured is that for people of color, particularly
Black folks, many are already living in a depression. The national unemployment rate for Black folks in this
economy is 17.6 %.1
In Washington, only 3% of the population is Black, yet Black folks make up 28% of the prison
population. The prison system appears to be the place where the powers-that-be think they can generate most
profit out of Black folks. In the meantime, military enrollment targeted at youth of color has also increased.
Undocumented students among us are forced to choose between the military and increased chances of
deportation. The Dream Act is designed to offer citizenship to undocumented students who either go to college or
join the military. However, with the cost of tuition rising it is becoming only one more form of a poverty
draft. Many of us ask:
Why war and prisons, and not education? Why are the University of Washington, the community colleges and
other institutions of higher education becoming less and less accessible at a time when they are most sorely
needed? Why are they trying so hard to shut us out and keep us ignorant?
There is an urgency to our struggle. We are people of color, working class students, women, people with
disabilities and queers who know that it is on our backs that the powers-that-be declare that they are “too big to
fail.” We will be the ones who absorb the cuts caused by the crisis they created. We will be the ones who will be
barred from the walls of higher education. We will be the ones to pay back with a lifetime full of debt, for which
we will be blamed if we slip up and can’t repay. This is the unfair game of double, triple, quadruple jeo