Two days have passed since 18 State Senators of Colorado voted against SB 170 the Tuition Equity Bill. Two days have passed since 18 Men and Women denied higher education to graduating high school students from: Ethiopia, Kenya, China, Cambodia, Mexico, Guatemala, and the many other nations in which Men and Women are Seeking a better life for their children.
On the second day I met “Susana” at a meeting of supporters of SB 170. “Susana” happened to be one of the many high school students present as their State Senate decided whether they’ll be able to afford in state college tuition or not. As we went around the room to describe how we feel after the defeat of SB 170 “Susana” described how she felt in one word: Hurting…
Later on in the meeting “Susana” raised her hand and said: “Earlier I described how I felt as hurting because I was there, in the Senate Chamber, listening to what the State Senators were saying when they were not behind the microphone. I have never felt so dehumanized, worthless, or ashamed as I did listening to what our elected officials were saying about us… [pause] I vow not to ever feel that way again. From this point forward I dedicate myself to a life in politics because as a POLITICIAN they will never make me feel that way again.”
At the end of the second day we began to heal and remember the life and organizing of Cesar Chavez who say every defeat as an incremental victory. We reflect back to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who fought for equality, went to jail for equality, and murdered for believing in equality not because it is simply morally right but because it was an inalienable right. We reflect back at the 30 years the Nelson Mandela spent behind bars as he brought an end to apartheid. Today is day three and we are ready to fight again on the long path to victory.
Thank you “Susana.”
Democracia Ahora Colorado State Director