Monday, September 19, 2011

Affirmative Action?

So much for that race baiting narrative. The right-wing make believe machine has told me for years about how resentful I should be of minorities who receive some sort of "favorable treatment" that somehow limits my white-middle-class economic opportunity.

There are a few things that limit my white-middle-class economic opportunity. The biggest are my own motivation and ambition. The next are all the taxes I have to pay, or sacrifices I have to make in order for our local, state, and national governments to subsidize rich people while we wait for them to "create jobs." But race? My complexion means that race is not a limiting factor in my life, and anyone who suggests otherwise is living in the land of make believe.

I remember back in the day at Georgia, when there was a big push - mostly the result of such manufactured resentment - to remove race from consideration in the admissions process. Proof was in the puddin' however, as they kept considerations for legacy applications and those who applied from rural (and suburban) counties.

The way you close the actual race-based economic opportunity gap is to take public schools seriously, and to accept that the education of minority youth is an integral part of that seriousness. As long as local, state, and national governments continue to sacrifice educational resources at the altar of subsidizing rich people, no amount of "reform" is going to magic us to the magic land of the "level playing field."

Reality is, the deck is still stacked against minorities when it comes to education, and therefore economic, opportunity. That the deck is stacked differently, and maybe a little lower, than it was in the 40's and 50's doesn't make the intentional historical dispossession of minority education in this country any less insidious.

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