The other lie that needs to be addressed is that racial inequity is a two way street. The preponderance that just because you are a white male your chances for success are higher than other ethnicities is a farce. Current affirmative guidelines for minorities provide an automatic advantage. With this said my intent is not to distract from the fact that all ethnicities have the potential to excel. As long as we continue to conduct surveys to demonstrate disparity it creates an assumed excuse. Society today sees itself as a victim and their current woes have nothing to do with individual effort. Until we stop making everything about color we will truly never advance.
Thanks for the feed-back. I agree with most of it. However, I wish you could walk in my shoes or the shoes of a young black male for 1 month not a day but a month. It's not as cut and dryas one thinks. It's better but we still have a long way to go.
I may have not walked in your shoes and refuse to use the "I have lots of black friends" adage however; my 20+ years serving in the Armed Forces exposed me to just about every ethnicity you could think of. Have I seen examples of disparity? Yes... But I have also witnessed people of all walks, creeds, and color be highly esteemed and respected based on actions and character. In my era every one was one color, green... which alludes to my previous discussion about continuing to use ones color as a focal point as opposed to who you are. Ironically ignorance is colorblind and in the immortal words of Ron White, ya can't fix stupid! In order to move forward as a society and a people we will need to strive to be recognized by word and deed; not social orientation. We have made progress and I do concede that racism exists. I just think continuing to make the center of any negative situation race based is counter productive and keeps us from moving forward.
as long as Current affirmative action guidelines for minorities provide an automatic advantage, they will never be seen as true equals. minorities that have busted there butts to do better and get ahead say they feel the stigma of affirmative action even though they didn't need it.
Affirmative action is a double-edged sword, but on balance I'd have to say that it has done far more good than harm. I believe that this was understood at the time the legislation was initially implemented. Unlike a program such as ObamaCare - where it didn't have to be "zero-sum" as it would have been relatively simple to focus the necessary help on ONLY those who needed it without harming the rest of us - the issues that affirmative action addressed are far more complex and societally insidious. Affirmative action was created in an attempt to level the playing field in a game where winners almost always do so at the expense of losers. As a society, we recognized that for people to disproportionately become losers based on race alone was the WRONG ANSWER. I believe that the reasons for affirmative action are still at work today. Consequently, I don't believe the program has outlived its usefulness.
"There are, of course, legitimate issues that African-American male students face due to a confluence of factors."
I think that Dr. Donna Ford had several sound recommendations to address these factors in her paper titled: "Underrepresentation of Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education: Reflections About Current Problems and Recommendations for the Future." See:
- especially at page 32 where she says:
"Families, educators, decision makers, and peers contribute to underrepresentation. As described below, relative to education specifically, definitions, theories, policies, and procedures (all grounded in beliefs or subjectivity in many ways), along with social-emotional
concerns, are duplicitous in gifted education underrepresentation. To effect meaningful change, I suggest the following:
(a) educators place underrepresentation in the broader umbrella of the achievement gap;
(b) educators not buy into deficit thinking about culturally different students;
(c) educators not adhere to a colorblind philosophy and practices, and not ignore or discount social injustices and White privilege;
(d) educators share the blame or responsibility for underrepresentation;
(e) educators not acquiesce to the status quo and be complacent with a business as usual attitude; and
(f ) educators have substantive and ongoing preparation to work with both gifted and culturally different students."
Like the SPLC, Affirmative action is necessary but needs tweaking. The problem is, in politics no one knows how to do that sort of thing. It's ALL or NOTHING.
JM you are 100% correct, we tend to use a 'blanket' fix approach instead of addressing the circumstance at the level it needs to be.