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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Opinion

The Octogenarian: Looks like we’re losing some schoolmates


dan patrick cartoon

Dan Patrick is leading Texas Republicans to pass SB-1819, which would repeal a 2001 law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges. | Illustration by Herschel Levin/The Cougar

Once again in the great state of Texas, a combination of ignorance, gross stupidity and bigotry are about to prevail.  What is becoming more and more commonplace in our state, the person leading this narrow-minded charge back in history but our estimable Lt. Gov. and leading state bigot, Dan Patrick.

Now, Dan Patrick and I both came to Texas from Baltimore. He’s become notorious for his disregard for all who are not white in his image.

He’s known for coming out with statements like, “There is no such thing as separation of church and state,” and, “I am sick and tired of a minority in our country who want us to turn our backs on God!”

Patrick is also infamous for his quotes against minorities and false claims about how migrants will bring “Third World diseases.” He’s also walked out of the Senate chamber when a Muslim was giving the opening prayer, saying, “I think that it is important that we are tolerant of people of all faiths but that doesn’t mean we have to endorse all faiths and that was my decision.”

Dan Patrick shows himself to be an intolerant person who would exclude the millions of Americans who are not Christian from sharing our nation, a policy that is, in itself, against the teachings of Christianity.

What is happening? Back in 2001, Texas Rep. Rick Noriega put together a coalition including then Gov. Rick Perry and President George W. Bush, and they managed to see the intelligence in and benefit to our state of offering in-state tuition to undocumented children who were bought to the U.S., educated in our public schools.

By being given the opportunity for relatively affordable advanced education, it made these individuals productive members of our community.  This of course coincided with the Obama program allowing these people to be a part of our workforce.

Since that intelligent move by Texas, 18 other states have adopted that tuition system and more are considering putting similar program to use in their states.

In 1982, the Supreme Court upheld that all students, regardless of their immigration status, have a right to a public education. The Texas Association of Business also came out in support of keeping the in-state tuition program, although that decision flies in the face of many of today’s Republicans.

All this intelligence pales in the face of the pure driven bigotry of Patrick and his tea party followers who see the problem as a question of fairness for American citizens.  Which basically means: can’t have them brown people getting educated even though the system doesn’t deprive any whites.

If Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott win in this prejudicial racist endeavor before we can vote these neanderthals out of office, we will all lose by having our schoolmates deprived of the education they need and deserve.

As students, consider this situation next time you find yourself  too busy or your life too convoluted to vote.

Opinion columnist Ken Levin is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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