The interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans may double next month for more than seven million Americans, which include 1.5 million African-American students.
Whenever someone questions the identity of President Obama, whether from the right — what is now infamously known as birtherism — or from the left — where some Black thinkers think it is prudent to challenge the president’s racial authenticity — the media makes sure that it becomes news. Nationally syndicated columnists will line up to proffer point-to-point responses to the latest identity dustup. I suppose these kinds of discourses are “par for the course” of America’s first Black president. In fact, we may all be complicit in these identity-driven politics of distraction. Here in America, we are obsessed with thetrappings of visual identity — race, gender, etc. Yet while we debate/discuss this president’s Blackness all over again, an issue of single importance, both to this president and to all Americans, is on the table right now.
On July 1, the interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans will double for more than seven million Americans, which include 1.5 million African-American students. Obama has been speaking about this publicly in a variety of attempts to persuade lawmakers of the critical significance of this looming deadline. More recently, Vice President Joe Biden met with university officials from 10 different institutions in order to institute more transparent policies with respect to tuition costs and borrowing.
For so many reasons this is an issue critical to America’s future. Access to an affordable post-secondary education is the key to harvesting the “green economy,” for developing a labor force that reflects the centrality of the STEM disciplines in the future of the world’s workforce; it is the foundation through which we will sustain our economy and our democracy into the future.
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