Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Race Issue

Ok, let's assume two young men are applying for financial aid so they can attend the University of Delaware. One is white, one is black. Both applicants live in the same neighborhood and are in similar socioeconomic positions. Both have virtually identical academic records and SAT scores. Why is it permissible for the black (or other minority) man to check a box and automatically have an advantage over the white applicant? Are both men not equally deserving of financial aid? If so, and if the purpose of financial aide is to help poor students go to college, then why not be entirely color-blind and give out financial aid, scholarships etc. based entirely on merit and need?

I fail to see how giving someone a leg up based solely on their skin color is any less racist than denying them opportunities based on that same criteria. Those deserving of help are deserving of help. Period. Why the hell should race matter?

4 comments:

mike's spot said...

I work in financial aid as my work study at my current institution. whoever said race doesn't matter never applied to college.

Welcome to the world of 'White Priviledge'- aka the era of kicking the straight white male in the nuts- because you and I have to pay for shortcomings in judgement of people who did mean shit before you and I were alive.

Check all the boxes for race- its optional and they can't require you to fill it out...ergo I always wondered what are the repurcusions for filling it out with the race you identify with, instead of the race you actually are?

in the era of accepting Identity based on gender and sexual orientation that is not necessarily in line with what your physical being represents, why should we hold race to a different standard?

Rustmeister said...

Back in the 60's, it was necessary to get the ball rolling.

In the 21st century? Not so much.

Brigid said...

I once worked with a young white male who by skin tone was often taken for a number of races but was Northern European by family history. He was so fed up of being passed over for minority candidates with a quarter of his experience in a highly technical field, because he was a "white male" that he legally changed his name to one that sounded very ethnic. He then checked the appropriate box. Was that ethical?

You decide.

But he got a job in two weeks.

It was needed in the 60's. It might have even been needed later than that, certainly I went in for more than one interview, and was flat out told "we prefer men" (I'd usually counter with . . "great so do I, now let's talk about the job").

It's NOT needed now. It discredits everyone. Those that could have advanced in years past due to race or gender but DID NOT, are usually looked at as if someone gave us our job. At the academy I had several guys state that "well being a woman it was easy for you to qualify". No. I qualified because I have a Bachelors in Engineering, an MBA in Organizational Management and a Ph.D. in an applied science. I'm also tactically trained and a former jet instructor pilot qualified as PIC on 7 large transports used by the military and industry.

But for another 20 years I'm going to hear the whispers. . "she got the job because. you know. she's a girl."

It's not fair to anyone and I get livid over watching white male friends in various fields passed over for those MUCH less qualified simply to fill a quota.

Let's level the playing field and join the new century. Hiring and Scholarships by ability. Period.

Mike W. said...

"Let's level the playing field and join the new century. Hiring and Scholarships by ability. Period."

EXACTLY! I just don't see how blacks and other minorities can demand "equality" but support things like affirmative action that explicitely highlight and perpetuate inequality.

One of the problems is that AA breeds both a sense of entitlement based on race, and resentment (and racism?) among non-minorities who get screwed by such a system.

Like most large federal programs it has persisted far past when it was necessary.