This is the second contribution to our new, bi-weekly blog post featuring creative content made by currently or formerly incarcerated people! Today, we're sharing a persuasive essay written by Sede Baker, who is currently incarcerated at Angola State Penitentiary.
What happens when the state slashes funding to educational programs? What happens to the students that depend on that funding to attain higher education? And what happens to upcoming generations when their parents come from an era where the government they had faith in denied them education?
Government funding allows colleges to expand their educational programs to further their students’ ability to attain enlightenment. When there are major budget cuts, it prevents one class of people from elevating to a higher social class with a higher pay grade that would advance their means of living. In what is termed "the land of the free,” the cuts prevent this class from establishing wealth through free market principles and passing it on to their progeny to continue generational wealth-building.This creates no escape from oppressive bosses who utilize their position to control and manipulate. Instead, it creates high level of unemployment, and the stresses from such can cause one to become irrational. This leads to a variety of burdens, including crime.
All humans have one thing in common, which is that we are born with innate capabilities to survive. In a mode of self-preservation, this is where robberies, selling/using drugs, and killing come into the equation. These are violations of the laws that lead to long prison terms, and they are also all acts of survival that ultimately stem from funding cuts for educational programs. This lack of academic opportunity keeps knowledge-seekers from the understanding needed to make better decisions.
Worse, one group may suffer from these cuts, yet upcoming generations still inherit this hardships. This perpetuation of government-inflicted problems keeps many out of the realm of higher learning, and this is what I call a "boom in illiteracy". It transpires when the value system changes and the principles passed on are not of knowledge-seeking but of doing what must be done as a mean to put clothes on your back, food in your stomach, and pay the bills.
It is easy to say in a harsh tone that crime is rampant and laws need to be passed. Being “tough on crime” with stiff laws doesn't eliminate the crime factor, and it deters attention from the government’s greedy move of cutting the education budget.
It is a known fact that where education is high, crime is low, and where education is low, the level of crime is high. The government conveys that they seek to solve the crime issue, yet they don't realize that stripping schools of funding is a catalyst to the rise in crime, as it, in turn, strips people of chances to educate themselves. This affects every generation after the first group of people that was deprived of their education. Is it a problem? That’s a question our representatives must answer to.
If you or someone you know is a currently or formerly incarcerated person with creative content to offer, please submit your materials to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch! We'll share the content on social media and always give credit to the artist(s) involved. Any type of submission--whether stories, poems, illustrations, music, videos or something else--are welcome!