Privacy and legal experts have questioned the legality of the cards, which will in future be mandatory for certain services, such as obtaining a passport or a driving licence. They will also soon be required for checking entitlement to dental benefit and for accessing school transport services, and their use will continue to expand.
What is the role of public and higher education, especially in a time of tyranny? What does critical pedagogy look like and how is it put into play so as to make a viable and lasting connection between learning and critical thought, engaged agency and social responsibility, learning and social change?
Fannie Lou Hamer, in hat with placard, leads a “Freedom Day” voting rights march in front of Forrest County courthouse, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, January 22, 1964. The SNCC campaign sought to register hundreds of African-Americans in the county to vote, at a time when not a single black person was registered there.
It was the United States Department of Justice’s investigation into the Ferguson Police Department after an officer killed Michael Brown in 2014 that “awakened” the federal government and much of the general public to the burden of municipal fines and fees, issued for everything from traffic violations, to mismatched curtains, to court costs. When people can’t afford to pay these fees, they end up with criminal warrants, drivers’ license suspensions, and even end up in jail.
Do policy makers design welfare systems to punish claimants? By making welfare payments depend upon jobseekers complying with directions given by welfare officers, with financial sanctions which can lead to hunger, destitution or worse, the unemployed are increasingly subject to humiliating treatment.
So yes, let’s pull down the monuments, let’s make the holidays more inclusive, let’s rewrite the textbooks and children’s literature. But let’s also challenge the fundamental structures of ownership, power, and privilege that have given us such a skewed constellation of heroes and holidays.