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January 17, 2011

Affirmative Action Incentives Really Only Affirm Inferiority Complex

At the beginning of the year I decided to take some computer classes at the local community college. I decided that tracking down all of my transcripts was not worth the trouble so I am not taking them for college credits. I want to make my job prospects better and I already have two degrees, which I would use for firewood if I had a fireplace because they are pretty much null and void in my neck of the woods. So the community college has no idea what education I have received before.

However, because it was a mandatory question, the college knows my race and has classified me as some type of “multicultural” being. So what do they do with that information? They pass it along to the University of Michigan. Bad move on their part. Yes thee University of Michigan that was taken to court because they were admitting minority students that had lower grades than whites and minorities that were not in the “disadvantaged” category, to the university. And what does the University of Michigan do with the information they have because of a little box on an application that asked what my race was, that I had to fill out? Well, they invite me to this seminar that is called “Michigan Pursuing Our Dreams” which is a program that the community college I am attend has in conjunction with the University of Michigan. It is designated to help “multicultural” students get their Bachelor’s degree. The letter states that I was selected “based on your grade point average or because you are beginning your college career”. This is obviously a lie because I have not gotten mid term grades from the classes I’m taking, therefore I have no grade point average for them to see and I have a Bachelor’s degree. So actually, I’ve been invited to this seminar based on the racial background box I check that the preconceived notions that come along with it.

So here is the problem that I have with all of this “we want to help you because of your race” business. The way I see it, saying that you want to help me because my skin is a shade or two darker than someone else’s is a form of prejudice. If you want to help me because I am a human being and you want to help everyone, then I am okay with that. But wanting to help me because you think that I have had such a hard life and am not smart enough to help myself because of the race box I marked, is disturbing. I am going to say it and some people are going to hate me for it, but Affirmative Action initiatives and organizations that only help people of certain races and religions are not healthy. Taking part in this type of exploitation is a great way to agree with the idea that you are inferior.

I know that there is racism. Heck, I grew up in, and still live in the most segregated metropolitan area in the United States. I know what it is like for people to hate you before you ever open your mouth. I’ve been challenged at bars when I venture too far outside of the city limits with my mixed bunch of friends. I’ve felt and experienced numerous instances of racism myself but I don’t let that deflate my confidence. I never feel like I can not do something because I am not white and that is what this stupid letter from the University of Michigan is implying. When I was graduating high school, which for me was nothing more than a farce since I missed more classes than I attended most semesters, I could have applied to the University of Michigan. The sad thing is that I would have gotten in, even with my subpar grade point average. But I did not want that then and I don’t want it now. I’ll take my chances out in the world and pursue my dreams without crutches for skin color.

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