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Monday
Jul 28th

Justice denied in higher education

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Being the dyed-in-the-wool reactionary he is, President Bush couldn’t resist showing his true color, arguing against affirmative action in college admissions on Jan. 15. Sticking his narrow-minded nose into U. S. Supreme Court business, ... Being the dyed-in-the-wool reactionary he is, President Bush couldn’t resist showing his true color, arguing against affirmative action in college admissions on Jan. 15. Sticking his narrow-minded nose into U. S. Supreme Court business, Bush said his administration would argue in a brief before the Supreme Court that the University of Michigan gives unconstitutional preferences to African American, Hispanic American and Native American applicants. He put a p.c. spin on things, saying, “I strongly support diversity of all kinds, including racial diversity in higher education.

But the method used by the University of Michigan to achieve this important goal is fundamentally flawed. At their core, the Michigan policies amount to a quota system that unfairly rewards or penalizes prospective students based solely on their race.” This is nothing more than blown smoke.

In truth the only thing Bush supports, strongly or otherwise, is the status quo. It bears noting that while mouthing platitudes about the supposed inequity of affirmative action in education, he uttered not a word about rectifying the historical injustice by which students have benefited from an entrenched system that has unfairly rewarded prospective students based solely on the fact of their White skin. If he has a problem with race-based preference, let him address it by dealing with the practice of privilege by which he, his daddy and his daughters, along with White America at large, stood first in line while populations on which this nation was built and on whose backs it stands are told, “You have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and earn your way.”

Take one look at how Bush promptly betrayed Black ministers who stupidly signed on to his faith-based initiative. Bush got the ministers’ votes then presented his behind to be kissed, suddenly failing to find time — after the election — to even meet with them, much less work out a program by which their communities might transcend the ills of institutionalized inequity. He’s urinating on the heads of Black America, swearing up and down, at the same time, that it’s raining. The only difference between Trent Lott and George W. Bush is that Lott went too far in tipping his hand.

That conservative conclave known as the United States Supreme Court will, of course, use any excuse it can concoct to go right along with Bush to nullify the 1978 Bakke decision, which permits policies that use race as a factor in selecting students to expand campus diversity. The Michigan cases already set to go before the high court in March had two chances of sustaining the Bakke decision: slim and none. Now that Bush has butted in, they have no chance.

Ever since Black America’s days of languishing on plantations, White America’s most insidious method of oppression has been to deny us even the knowledge of how to read and write English. In addition, they grudgingly gave us separate and inferior schools and, finally, minimized our access to its highest educational institutions. That method has been, to say the least, quite effective — despite exceptions which continuously prove the rule: for every Black person who’s managed to get an education, countless others have been systemically obstructed from doing so, forced into circumstance and environmental lifestyles which tie their hands behind their backs.

Anyone who contends this is an outdated reference is reminded that it wasn’t too long ago that Mark Yudof, ex-president of the University of Minnesota (one of America’s most vaunted schools) did his damnedest to dismantle the U of M General College — a program designated to level the academic field for capable yet ill-prepared students, most being of color. The only thing truly surprising was not that Yudof attempted an act of blatantly perceptive racism, but he failed.

Bush has stepped in to see
 

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