OK, Phillipe and Jorge are going to need a little help on this one. You have just been, and are still in the process of being, bent over — along with your wife/husband/partner, your children, and your as-yet-unborn grandchildren (no small feat, that one). You're having your freckle punched by Wall Street and its stooges in Congress. And you're upset because the state might be spending a few hundred thousand extra dollars to — wait for it — educate kids? Great priorities there, gang. How's that job search coming?
The turmoil that accompanied the Board of Governors for Higher Education's vote to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and Community College of Rhode Island, seemed a reaction more in line with a mandate on executing the firstborn of any Vo Dilun family. ("Oh God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son.' Abe says, 'Man, you must be puttin' me on.' " Thanks, Mr. Dylan.)
The frothers at the public forum and the attendant media amplification of their antics missed the point: We are talking about fewer than 100 students, who arrived in the country and state without much say in the matter, saving a few thousand a year to actually get smarter. Well, we don't like the looks of that now, do we?
All you need to know about the opposition came with the pictures in the Urinal the day after the event. The opponents were wildly gesticulating, screaming, and scowling. The latter two seem to be the default behaviors for the Tea Party and its ilk — folk who have ordained themselves arbiters of what is patriotic and what is un-American.
Those who supported in-state tuition, meanwhile, were shown either smiling or holding wildly provocative signs that read, "Our Dreams Can't Wait! We Want to Pay Tuition!" Don't we have any sort of censorship in place on Fountain Street forbidding such obscenities from appearing on the front page of a family newspaper?
There are plenty of students in the Biggest Little who never reach, or even try to reach, the levels of academic achievement that would qualify them for entrance to our state's institutions of higher learning. Perhaps this underachievement is where our eyes and energy should be focused.
Nah, too hard. Plus, that might involve helping minorities by accident.
MONSTERS ARE ALREADY ON WALL STREET
It has taken P&J awhile to figure out what the Tea Baggers remind your superior correspondents of, and it finally came to us: the suburbanites in the legendary Twilight Zone episode, "Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," which aired in 1960 in the wake of the Red Scare.
After a shadow passes over the neighborhood, there is a sudden power outage. Machines turn on and off. Talk of an alien invasion creates paranoia on Maple Street, with neighbor accusing neighbor of collaborating with the enemy.
Naturally, the one guy who went a few blocks away to get the real truth is shot and killed by a panicked neighbor upon his return — the residents can't see who it is, so they just fire at him from a distance, fearing he is an (illegal?) alien.