The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What is wrong with affirmative action today

How long before affirmative action becomes colorblind? A friend of mine just got married a few months ago. Her husband is from serbia and does not speak english as his first language. He learned while working as a janitor at a sports bar and helping in a local car mechanics shop. He grew up not only poor but destitute in serbia and is working now on minimum wage while caring for a new daughter. He just got his GED by taking classes at night, while working two jobs 7 days a week, and performed extremely well. After studying with SAT books and CDs that I gave to him last year, he scored somewhere in the high 1200s and applied to an undergraduate business school near where he lives. His neighbor accross the street applied to the same school having just graduated from highschool with a C- average and much lower SAT scores. The kid accross the street got in. My friend's husband did not. Why? He was not an underrepresented minority. How many times does this kind of thing have to occur before congress gets the idea? I understand the need to "even the playing field," to give inner city kids a chance, to set things right, but there are plenty of poor, indeed economically destitute, people out there who need help just as much, who just happen not to be black or latino. Say a prayer for my friend's husband, he is trying for another college in the next city over. Hopefully they well have enough sense to let a talented guy like him into their school.


  • At 11:53 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    One of the big questions inherent to this debate, which still isn't settled, is how much of this issue is racial and how much of it is primarily economic. It's a question that was first faced during the Great Society era when economic reforms began to merge with race issues to create programs that heavily benefited blacks, for example, creating more than 800,000 gov't jobs filled by blacks.

    I think that, while economics comprises the base of the issue, race is yet another complicating layer that is placed on top of it. I mean, schools in predominantly black neighborhoods are almost always among the lowest-quality in teacher resources, achievement, safety, etc. Not to beat a dead horse, but we can't stop focusing on race in the college years until we start removing the need to do so by making progress toward equalizing K-12 opportunities for minorities and the poor (sometimes one and the same, but most assuredly not always)

  • At 3:31 PM, Blogger Sean said…

    But we also can't be compensating for the mistakes of our forefathers forever. My problem is not that we are focusing on race or attempting to equalize them, but that in doing so we are leaving others out in the cold. I don't believe that equalizing opportunities among the races should take precedence over helping the poor.


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